Soc. 243, (# 94739), Fall 2013, 2:30-3:45 T-Th, Room 100 Sociology, 31 So. Prospect St.
This course is about the mass media’s role in society. It is scholarly; we will mostly read original scholarly research. As a senior seminar, this course is intended to teach students something about serious scholarship, and about how to think intelligently about the media: what media scholarship is, what questions it asks, how it tries to answer them, how to make sense of it in general.The mass media is controversial and complex; there are no certain or easy answers about it. So this course does more to teach you how to think intelligently about the media than it provides you with one or another viewpoint on it.
Three books have been ordered for the course:
- Banet-Weiser, Sarah. Authentic TM the Politics and Ambivalence in a Brand Culture. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2012.
• Gitlin, Todd. The Whole World Is Watching: Mass Media in the Making & Unmaking of the New Left. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003.
• Howard, Philip N, and Muzammil M Hussain. Democracy’s Fourth Wave?: Digital Media and the Arab Spring. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Assignments: class participation (including demonstrating that you’ve done assigned readings), is required and counts for 15% of your grade. You will also present an author overview to the class (20%), and write a research paper with multiple components (65%). There are likely to be other short assignments during the semester as well. I am usually happy to be flexible with deadlines if you notify me one week in advance; if you notify me later than that, I won't be. All assignments must be completed to pass the course.