Summer 2019 - CMNS 110 J100

Introduction to Communication Studies (3)

Class Number: 5822

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    HCC 2270, Vancouver



An introduction to selected theories about human communication. This course is required for a major, honours or minor in communication. Breadth-Social Sciences.


The aim of this course is to provide a general introduction to a range of theories that seek to explain why we communicate as we do.  The first part of the course establishes a general overview of communication theory, from both theoretical and historical points of view.  We will examine the different types, modes, and models of communication, theories of orality and literacy, and medium theories.  We will also review the concept of the self and interaction in the context of communication studies.  

The second part of the course will focus on specific fields within the area of communication, including: the critical political economy of communication, study of popular culture; and media analysis. We will also examine the rise of technology studies in communication, and consider the way in which the electronic media (in particular computers and the Internet), have refashioned both human consciousness and culture.  In this context, we will discuss issues of privacy and democracy in the emerging digital culture in the global contexts.    

Our main goal is to critically assess the images and messages of contemporary media. How do they create meaning?  Who holds power over whom and with what goals?  


  • Mid-Term (in-class) Exam 25%
  • Term Paper and Proposal 30%
  • Final Exam 25%
  • Participation & Presentations 20%


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.]



All required and recommended readings are made available on Canvas. Additional text(s) may be assigned and made available later on Canvas.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.