Fall 2019 - CMNS 230 D100

The Cultural Industries in Canada: Global Context (3)

Class Number: 3484

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SSCC 9000, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 16, 2019
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    SSCC 9002, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    CMNS 130.



What do we mean when we talk about the 'cultural industries' today? This course explores the business structure and economics of the cultural sectors, the regulatory and policy frameworks, and their social and cultural contexts. Students are encouraged to develop, compare and contrast at least two sectors from the audio, print or visual industries. While the primary focus is on the Canadian case, students will be encouraged to look at other countries. Overriding themes explore the following: relationships between public and private sectors; independent and commercial creators; rights of creators versus distributors; specialty and general media; indigenous and global contents.


Today, culture and the arts are considered as important not only for civic and social imperatives but also for economic objectives – as terms such as Creative Economy exemplify. In this regard, this course provides an overview of the cultural industries how they create and circulate meanings in the Canadian context. Throughout the semester, the course aims to understand the characteristics of the Canadian cultural industries which are influenced by the nation’s cultural policies, technological developments and the digitalization of industries, and changes in global entertainment media. To better understand the dynamics of the cultural industries, the course introduces the range of theoretical, legal and policy perspectives from policy studies, political economy, and cultural studies to understand the political and economic contexts of the cultural industries. In addition to this, the course examines current trends in both global and Canadian cultural industries such as transnational fandoms, issues with over-the-top services such as Netflix, and issues of precariat labors. By doing so, students are expected to discuss distinctive historical narratives of the Canadian cultural industries as well as the cultural industries with several issues: the struggle for sustainable cultural production and the demand for choice and balance between consumer and collective citizen interests in the diversity of cultural expression in Canada, and around the world.


Learning objectives:

·       Key concepts and theoretical approaches to the study of media and cultural industries. 
·       An overview of relationships between the Canadian cultural industries and the global cultural industries
·       Logics of production, distribution and consumptions of cultural products
·       Understanding relationships between public/non-commercial and private/commercial sectors in the cultural industries
·       Institutional ecology for the Canadian media industries
·       Enable students to begin career-focused researches into the media industries in Canada with critical perspectives from the tradition of political economy and cultural studies.


  • To be confirmed in class.
  • Tutorial attendance and participation 10%
  • Group presentation (in-tutorial): 15%
  • In-class Mid-term Exam 35%
  • Case Study 40%


The school expects that the grades awarded in this course will bear some reasonable relation to established university-wide practices with respect to both levels and distribution of grades. In addition, the School will follow Policy S10.01 with respect to Academic Integrity, and Policies S10.02, S10.03 and S10.04 as regards Student Discipline. [Note: as of May 1, 2009, the previous T10 series of policies covering Intellectual Honesty (T10.02) and Academic Discipline (T10.03) have been replaced with the new S10 series of policies.]



Havens, T. & Lotz, A. (2017). Understanding Media Industries (2nd ed.) New York, NY: Oxford University Pres.  
ISBN: ISBN: 9780190215323

Other readings will be available on Canvas.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html