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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "COM 220-4"
COURSE NAME: "Media, Culture and Society "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Kwame Phillips
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 3:00-4:15 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: COM 101
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course examines the mass media as complex social institutions that exercise multiple roles in society—none more crucial than the circulation and validation of social discourses. Introducing students to a variety of theoretical approaches, the course focuses on media operations and textual analysis.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

The course is divided in three main parts. The first part will focus on the analysis of the main elements of the media (media technologies, the organization of the media industry, media content and media users). The second part, Media, Power and Control, addresses questions of media power, manipulation, the construction of news, public service broadcasting, censorship, commercialization. The third and final part, Media, Identity and Culture, will focus on issues of media and ethnicity, gender, subcultures, audiences and fans.


LEARNING OUTCOMES:
The course aims to encourage students to understand the relationship between media representations and society. By the end of the course students are expected to:

•       Be competent in the different models of analysis for the study of media organisations, media representations and media audiences

•       Understand key theoretical perspectives and research traditions within media studies 

•       Have acquired advanced competences for the analysis of social and cultural functions of the media

•       Have a certain understanding of the media structure (industry and technology)

•       Understand the relationship between the mass media, society and culture on a basic theoretical level.

**It is highly recommended that you make use of the Communications Library Study Guide that is found at this link: https://johncabot.libguides.com/communications. It is an introductory guide for communication and media studies, journalism and cinema, and is extraordinarily valuable as a resource.

**Course homepage: http://moodle.johncabot.edu (Enrollment key: COM220Fall18)
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Media, Culture and Society: An Introduction (2nd Edition)Paul HodkinsonSage978-1473902367  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Weekly reflection papers2 papers of 500-750 words. 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. The inclusion of images is encouraged where appropriate. It is highly recommended that the topic of the paper should be based on one of the questions or observations the student has come up with in the weekly assignment. 10
Mid-term Theory Paper2500 words. 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. The inclusion of images is encouraged where appropriate. Students are required to write a research paper that is appropriate to the course material. Though the topic is open, it is highly recommended that students expand upon a topic from the weekly questions that they are required to submit for the readings. The paper should focus on some form of media product or products and be analyzed using one or more of the theoretical approaches discussed in the course. Please bear in mind that the paper should discuss media, culture and society. Please note, failure to hand in the midterm paper will result in failing the course. 25
Final PresentationThis will take the form of 10-15 minute group presentations (usually in pairs). The presentations will be judged on the following criteria: critical thinking, quality of information, organization, visual design, oral presentation, grammar and spelling, and teamwork. The topic is open, but the paper should focus on some form of media product or products and be analyzed using one or more of the theoretical approaches discussed in the course. Please bear in mind that the presentation should discuss media, culture and society. Please note, failure to complete this presentation will result in failing the course. 25
Attendance and participationEvery student will be expected to participate in the class discussions. Failure to do so will severely impact your grade. 15
Bring your own news storyThis will require students selecting and analyzing a news story in a short presentation in class. 5
OutlinesA one page outline for the midterm paper and the final presentation is required at least one week before they are due.5
Weekly questions/observationsEvery week students are required to provide via email a question or observation based on the readings that will be due the night before the first class of the week.10
Self-grading assessmentStudents are required to fill out a self-grading worksheet and turn it in with the midterm and final. 5

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised. There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluate theory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material. Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included. In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

More than 2 unexcused absences will result in an F (Fail) grade for Attendance & Participation. More than 5 unexcused absences will result in failing the course. If unexcused, a tardy of more than 10 minutes will be counted as an absence. Lateness will affect the final grade. Every student is expected to do the readings when required and actively participate in class discussion. All the reading materials and course assignments will be posted on the class website.

-GRADING RUBRIC

Papers will be grading using the following criteria (and judged whether excellent, good, fair, needs work or insufficient):

1. Formatting (page numbers, bibliography, quotes, citations)
2. Sources (diverse, academic)
3. Organization (good transitions, definitions, structured argument)
4. Adherence to assignment guidelines (follows instructions, answers questions, covers topic)
5. Clarity (thesis stated and supported with examples, evidence, background, context)
6. Understanding terms and grasp of concepts
7. Originality
8. Style (readable, lucid, flow, makes sense, creative, academic, command of English)
9. Grammar, spelling, typos, sentence structure
10. Effort, passion, interest

-PAPER GUIDELINES

ALL papers are required to meet these criteria:

1. A clear thesis statement that the paper will follow through on.
2. Topics that are relevant to the course material.
3. Properly formatted in-text citations (Visit https://johncabot.libguides.com/citation).
4. A properly formatted reference section.
5. Appropriate labels for any images used.
6. Page numbers.
7. The name of the student, the course and the date at the beginning (cover pages are not required).
8. Spell and grammar checked completed before submission.
9. Be 12 point font and 1.5 spaced.
10. All papers are to be turned in electronically as Word documents as an attachment in the email.
11. Emails must have a subject line that accurately indicates the subject and have a message included. Each piece of work requires a separate email.
12. All digital files must be labeled as followed: "ASSIGNMENT (NAME)", e.g. "Short Paper 1 (John Doe)."


ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

•       Readings listed here might be subject to change.

ELEMENTS OF MEDIA

WEEK 1    
     
Course Overview and introduction: Shaping, mirroring and representing // Media Technologies
Readings: Media, Culture and Society chapters 1 and 2

WEEK 2      
Media Content and Media Industries
Readings: Media, Culture and Society chapters 3 and 4
Michelle Ogundehin - "A Brief History of Pink"

WEEK 3       
Media Analyses and Users
Readings: Media, Culture and Society chapters 4 and 5

FIRST SHORT PAPER DUE AT THE END OF WEEK 3

MEDIA, POWER AND CONTROL

WEEK 4      
Media Ideology and The Construction of News
Readings: Media, Culture and Society chapters 6, 7 and 8
Zander Nethercutt - "People Don't Buy Products, They Buy Better Versions Of Themselves"
Camila Domonoske - “Students Have 'Dismaying' Inability To Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds”

WEEK 5
‘Bring your own news story’ presentations   
   
MEDIA, IDENTITY AND CULTURE 

WEEK 6            
Media and the Public Sphere // Media, Identities and Communities
Readings: Media, Culture and Society chapters 10 and 11

WEEK 7
Media and Intersectionality // Media and Age
Readings: Kimberle Crenshaw - "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex- A Black Feminist"
Julia Twigg - "Fashion, the media and age"

ONE PAGE OUTLINE DUE AT THE END OF WEEK 7

WEEK 8       
Media and Gender (including body image) 
Readings: Media, Culture and Society chapter 13
Julia T. Wood - "Gendered Interaction: Masculine and Feminine Styles of Verbal Communication"
Meghan Duffy - “The day I broke some twitter feeds: insights into sexism in academia”
Rebecca Solnit - “Men Who Explain Things”
Paris Lee - “Trans people already face a hostile world. Now the media is making it worse”

MID-TERM PAPER DUE AT THE END OF WEEK 8

WEEK 9
Media and Ability (Mental, Physical, Learning Differences)
Readings: Lingling Zhang & Beth Haller - "Consuming Image: How Mass Media Impact the Identity of People with Disabilities"

WEEK 10
Media and Sexuality
Readings: Media, Culture and Society chapter 13
Diane Raymond - "Popular Culture and Queer Representation"
Brian Stelter - “Gay on TV: It’s All in the Family”
Jane D. Brown - “Mass Media Influences on Sexuality”

WEEK 11
Media, Race and Ethnicity (including language and regional background)
Readings: Media, Culture and Society chapter 12
Arwa Mahdawi - “From Apu to Master of None: how US pop culture tuned into the south Asian experience”
Dan Nosowitz - “How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained”
Richard Prince - “How Media Have Shaped Our Perception of Race and Crime”

SECOND SHORT PAPER DUE AT THE END OF WEEK 11

WEEK 12
Media and Belief
Readings: Riz Ahmed - “Typecast as a terrorist”
Mark Crispin Miller - “The Jewish Media: The Lie That Won’t Die”
     
ONE PAGE OUTLINE DUE AT THE END OF WEEK 12

WEEK 13 
Media and Socio-Economic Status/Class // Wrap up and Review
Readings: Josh Green - “How gentrification really changes a neighborhood”
Salamishah Tillet - “What TV Says About Race and Money”
Wordpress - Class and how it is Represented on Television.     

WEEK 14 
Final presentations