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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "COM 220-2"
COURSE NAME: "Media, Culture and Society "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Eleonora Diamanti
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 4:40-6:00 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: COM 111
OFFICE HOURS:

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:

1. Learn how to distinguish mass media from other types of media and gain a better understanding of various forms of communication developed by humans over time.

2. Develop an understanding of the origins, forces, and principles that helped shape the media.

3. Learn how to critically evaluate the relationship between media, culture and society.

4. Develop an awareness of legal and ethical issues that media users and practitioners may face.

5. Examine current and future trends in media and how media are changing in the 21st century.

6. Gain a better understanding of media’s effects on themselves, society, culture, religion, politics, and populations.

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Media, Culture and Society: An Introduction 2nd Edition Paul HodkinsonSage1473902363  
Revolutions in Communication: Media History from Gutenberg to the Digital Age 2nd EditionBill KovarikBloomsbury1628924780  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Mid-Term Exam 30%
Research paper 20%
Final Exam 30%
Attendance and participation 10%
Class presentationInstructions will be provided10%

-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 evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference 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:
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY

Please note that more than four unexcused absences (those not justified by a medical certificate or a note from the administration) will result in an automatic F for Attendance and Participation. Chronic tardiness will also impact your attendance/participation grade.

Class etiquette: Use of technological devices, including cell phones and laptops, is strictly forbidden during class and affects your participation grade. Please make sure that your cell phone is turned off (and not just muted) when class starts. Use of technological devices in class will result in an automatic F for Attendance and Participation.
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

This schedule is subject to change. Please check the class Moodle site for updates and current schedule.

Week 1: Intro: Media, Culture and Society 

Media Culture and Society: Ch. 1

Week 2: Media Technologies

Media Culture and Society: Ch. 2 (selected pages)
Revolutions in Communication, Part I (Intro, selected pages) 

Week 3: Media Industries: Printing Revolution (Writing, print, newspapers)

Revolutions in Communication, Part I (Intro; Ch. 1: selected pages; Ch. 3: selected pages)
“Colonial Women of the Press” (PDF on Moodle)

Week 4: Media Industries: Visual Revolution (photography, advertising, PR, crafted image)

Revolutions in Communication, Part II (Ch. 4; Ch. 6)
Media Culture and Society: Ch. 9

Week 5: Media Industries: Visual Revolution (photography, advertising, PR, crafted image)

Revolutions in Communication, Part II (Ch. 4; Ch. 6)
Media Culture and Society: Ch. 9

Week 6: Media Industries: Electronic Revolution (telegraph, radio, TV)

Revolutions in Communication, Part III (Intro, Ch. 7: selected pages)

Week 7: Midterm 


Midterm Review
Midterm

Week 8: Political Economy: Media Industry and Ideology

Media Culture and Society Ch. 3; 6; 8: (selected pages)

Week 9: Media Content and Media Users: Introducing Cultural Studies

Media Culture and Society: Ch. 5 (selected pages)
Hall, Stuart (1974) “The television discourse; encoding and decoding” (PDF)

Week 10: Media Content and Media Users: Semiotics, Ethnography & Reception Studies

Media Culture and Society: Ch. 4
Recommended: Longhurst, Brian, et al. Introducing Cultural Studies (London: Routledge, 2017), selected pages

Week 11: Public Sphere and the Construction of News

Media Culture and Society: Chs. 7, 10
In-class exercise on the construction of news

Week 12:  Media, Race and Ethnicity

Media Culture and Society: Ch. 12
Case Study: Beyoncé

Week 13: Media, Gender and Sexuality

Media Culture and Society: Ch. 13

Week 14: Conclusion

Apr 27: Wrap up and review of main concepts 

Week 15: Final Examinations