Fall 2021 - CMNS 110 D100

Introduction to Communication Studies (3)

Class Number: 5969

Delivery Method: Remote

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    REMOTE LEARNING, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2021
    5:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

Description

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:

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

COURSE DETAILS:

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 relationship between communication and social consciousness, identity development, and communication as a symbolic and performative act. The second part of the course will focus on specific fields within the area of communication, including: the study of popular culture, media analysis, advertising, journalism, and the political economy of communication.

Throughout the course we will also examine the rise of technology studies in communication and consider the ways in which electronic media (including social media) have refashioned both human consciousness and culture. In this context, we will discuss issues of privacy and democracy in the emerging digital culture.

 

Broad Course Themes:

 (Detailed weekly topics will be distributed on Canvas in the first week of classes.)

  • Socialization, media and identity formation: “Performative aspect of communication”
  • Mass/consumer culture and mass communication: “The rise of popular culture”
  • Media, technology and society: “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us”
  • Mediation and issues with representations of race, gender, and sexuality: “The danger of a single story”

COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:

Our main goal is to critically assess the images and messages of contemporary media.  How do they create meaning?  Do they enlarge our understanding of the world, or influence us to think about it in increasingly narrow ways?


By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Critically assess media environments and communication strategies, in order to better understand how they might influence us to think about issues.
  • Identify and summarize major theories in communication.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking in their media analysis and writing assignments in order to challenge their own assumptions, and question social norms and what appears as “common sense” in media and society.
  • Demonstrate understanding of what types of questions are asked in communication studies when undertaking research in the discipline.
  • Create materials, such as papers, assignments, presentations, or other artifacts, that incorporate communication theory and history.

Grading

  • Online class participation and discussions 15%
  • Communication self-audit and digital detox assignment 15%
  • Midterm take-home exam 15%
  • Topic outline 5%
  • Annotated bibliography of 5 peer-reviewed academic sources 10%
  • Final paper 20%
  • Final take-home exam 20%

NOTES:

Note: This course does not have a final exam during the exam period.

Materials

REQUIRED READING:

Pavlik, John V. & McIntosh, Shawn (2018). Converging media: A new introduction to mass communication (6th edition). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN:   9780190646653

***Supplementary readings will be made available on the course Canvas page***


Registrar Notes:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS

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

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.