Fall 2021 - CMNS 221 D100

Media and Popular Cultures (3)

Class Number: 5970

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    HCC 1900, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    CMNS 110 and 130, with a minimum grade of C-.



Focuses on communication for social change; historical and contemporary perspectives in consumer culture; technology, media and popular culture; media and identity; and communication as public education.


This course is an introduction to and survey of the study of popular culture and communication, with a specific focus on the social and cultural dimensions of media and media environments. The course examines media-audience relations in regard to critical issues and controversies in media, society and popular culture. A broad range of themes will structure our investigation, including: communication and social change; citizenship, media and culture; the rise of industrial capitalism and the emergence of consumer cultures; controversies and practices of technology in media cultures; theories of mass culture and society; the nature and role of audiences in contemporary media culture; the dominance of visual/image culture in contemporary life; problems in relation to modernism, postmodernism and popular culture; globalization; media, identities and urban life; and communication as public education. Besides course readings, we will also look closely at various films, examples of popular music, and other forms of visual culture as part of our investigation.


  • Creative Assignment 20%
  • Term Paper 35%
  • Term Paper Outline 5%
  • Final Take home exam 25%
  • Study Group (Participation and review) 15%



Course readings, media and other materials are available on our course CANVAS site

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


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.