CMS 402: Communication and Society

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, students should be able to

  1. discuss the relationship between the media and other social institutions;
  2. highlight the dual character of the media as both commercial and political/ideological organisation;
  3. explain how various social groups are represented in the media and the implications of such representation;
  4. explain the concept of media power;
  5. outline the notions of professionalism in media and communication practice; and
  6. explain the concepts of mediatization
Course Contents

Examination of the media of communication as social and political institutions with particular attention to pertinent sociological concepts, themes and problems; the role and relationship of the mass media vis-à-vis other major social institutions. Focus on the sociology and professionalism of media communicators, media contents, meaning creation and defining power and the issue of cultural imperialism and media dependency; internal dynamics and control of media organisations and mass communication politics. The role of communication in development is critically examined. The course will also discuss media representation of various social groups, media and gender, ownership and control, the role of advertising and other forms of financing the media and their implications, issue of media access, the place and role of alternative media, the internet and changes in media ecology, mediatization of social and political processes and activities. Critical attention will be paid to the role of the media as the infrastructural/mechanism of connection, representation, sharing and governing, the role of the media in conflict and the mediatization of different processes, activities and institutions in contemporary society. Also of interest is the internet and other ICTs, their characteristics and how they have changed the ecology of communication, the public sphere and nature of politics and power. The course will also discuss media representation of gender, minorities.