COMMUNICATION AND SOCIETY Syllabus

CMS 302  COMMUNICATION AND SOCIETY

COURSE COMPACT

Faculty: Communication and Media Studies                    Department: All Departments

Course Code: CMS 302                          Unit(s): 2                      Semester: Second

Course Title: Communication and Society

Lecturer:                                                       Programme: B.Sc.

 

(A). BRIEF OVERVIEW OF COURSE

This course is designed to examine the media of communication as social institutions with particular attention to pertinent sociological concepts, themes and problems. It further explores the role of the mass media and their relationship with other major social institutions they in the society. The course focuses on the sociology and professionalism of media communicators, media contents and the issue of cultural imperialism and media dependency. Students will be exposed to the internal dynamics and control of media organizations, including mass communication politics. They will also learn the role of communication in development. This course will enhance students’ understanding of and exposure to dynamics of media technologies, including their implications for individuals, institutions, and society. At the completion of this course, students would have learned basic technical and information literacy skills through hands-on experience with new media technologies. This includes critical thinking and analysis of the impact of media technologies, and  how technologies are meaningful to communication and communicative behavior

(B). COURSE OBJECTIVES/GOALS

By the end of this course, students will have learned:

  1. Meaning of key concepts such communication, society, social institutions, mass media etc.
  2. Sociological concepts, themes and problem in relation to communication and society
  3. Mass media roles in the society
  4. Relationship between mass media and social institutions in the society
  5. Issues of cultural and media dependency
  6. Internal dynamics and control of media organizations in the society
  7. Role of communication in development
  8. Power relationships in the society within the context of mass communication
  9. Dynamics of media technologies, including their implications for individuals, institutions, and society
  10. Basic technical and information literacy skills through hands-on experience with new media technologies;
  11. Critical thinking and analysis of the impact of media technologies, and how technologies are meaningful to communication and communicative behavior

(C). METHOD OF LECTURE DELIVERY

  1. Lectures
  2. Quizzes
  3. Assignments
  4. Practical Classroom Sessions

(D). COURSE OUTLINE

1. Introduction

Meaning of key concepts – communication, mass media, society, communication and culture, media literacy).

2. Communication and The Information Society

Meaning of Information Literacy

History of Technology and Information

Information Overload

Communication and Information Infrastructures

History of the Internet

Future of the Internet

Digital Divides

3. Media Literacy

What is media literacy?

What is media education?

Importance of media literacy

Media literacy

Key concepts for understanding media literacy (media are constructions, audiences negotiate meanings, media have commercial, social, and political implications, each medium has a unique aesthetic form)

4. Factors influencing media literacy

Environmental factors (i.e. media availability and media literacy context)

Individual competences (i.e. personal competences)

Social competences (interactions with others)

Gender (male/female)

Timing of media exposure (morning/noon/evening/night)

Area (where audience reside)

Diversification of media use (access and use of various media)

Frequency of media use (how often you use the media);

Media education (learning about media literacy)

5. Concepts, Models, and Theories of Human Communication and the Mass Media

Normative Theories of the press -Authoritarian, Soviet-communist, Social responsibility, Libertarian, Democratic-Participant & Development media theories
Globalization
Global Village

Cultural Imperialism
Technological Determinism
Social Shaping of Technology
Agenda Setting
Gatekeeping
Framing
Public Sphere
Hegemony
Social Learning
Cultivation- Mainstreaming and Synchronization
Aggressive Cues
Carthasis
Propaganda
Dependency
Spiral of Silence
World Systems
Structural Imperialism

6. Role of Communication and the Media in Development of Culture and Society

Conceptualizing key terms (communication, media, development, culture, society)

Evolution of the media
Role of communication and the media in the society

How the media facilitate development of culture and society

Mass media in socialization

Social Inequality and Media Representation
Media content and the real world
Race and media content
Gender and media- workings of communication in creating gender roles and identity in society
Class and the media

7. New Media & Society

Concept of New Media

Kinds of New Media

Internet and society
Social Media and society

Citizen Journalism and society

New media, professionalism and journalism practice

8. Media Effects

Concept of media effects

Understand theories and research about media effects
How media consumption routines affect thinking and behavior

The debate over media effects

Media effects theories
Framing media representations as everyday communication
Issues in Media Effects (violence, identity development, socialization, crime, violence, substance abuse, sexual attitudes and behaviors, marginalization of minority groups, and pathological health practices and other anti-social behaviors).
Images created by the media about the world (race, gender, various continents, ethnic backgrounds, etc.)

9. Class activities and Assignments

 

(E). RECOMMENDED TEXTS

Sparks, G. (2013). Media Effects Research: A Basic Overview, Fourth edition. Boston, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Dominick, J. (2012). Dynamics of Mass Communication, 12th Edition. McGraw-Hill Education.

Nwabueze, C. (2014). Introduction to Mass Communication: Media Ecology in the Digital Age. Owerri: Top Shelve.

(E). IMPORTANT LINKS

What is information literacy (by philau.edu)

What is information literacy (by madisoncollege.edu)

What is media literacy, and why is it important?

Media literacy Fundamentals

Importance of Media literacy, and Key Concepts of Media Literacy

Factors affecting media literacy in early teenagers

Geographic media Literacy

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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