Summer 2023 - CMNS 130 OL01

Communication and Social Change (3)

Class Number: 1404

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA



An introduction to the forms, theories and institutions of communication as they relate to broader social change, with a focus on the political, economic and regulatory shifts characterizing Canadian and transnational media systems. This course is required for a major, honours or minor in communication.


This course offers an introduction to the forms, technologies, techniques, theories and institutions of communication as they relate to broader social change. Central topics of this course include: the Anthropocene and ecology of media; cyberwar and digital mobilization; work in the context of information industries; the relationship between media and globalization; algorithmic cultures and political economy of information. We will focus on the era of mass communication and some of the more influential approaches to its study to examine the following questions: What is mass communication? What is the role of mass media in a democracy? How has mass media been regulated in the past? What are different political economic and cultural interests in using and understanding mass communication?Then we will explore debates over the ways in which social organization offers and foreclosures opportunities to participate. This will be extended to concerns of contemporary social change in terms of media ownership, efforts to promote social justice, and reflections on communication in an era of disinformation. How can we take responsibility for our self and be the change in the world by forming the communities we want to see? How can we engage the changes affected by others?

Course Format:

CMNS 130 is an asynchronous online course. Students are responsible for independently navigating course material and assignments. There are no tutorials for the course.

Asynchronous course lectures and module instructions will be made available online each Thursday, by 12:00pm.


  • Weekly journal reflections (10x3) 30%
  • Midterm 1 week 6 15%
  • Midterm 2 week 12 15%
  • Extended journal reflection (Due April 11) 20%
  • Final Exam 20%


Course Policies:

Your TM (tutor marker) is the best point of contact to deal with questions and requests, especially in cases where you would like to engage in discussion of the course material, get help with understanding the readings, feedback on your assignments, etc. Please email your TM before emailing the instructor. When you email your TM or the instructor, please allow 48 hours for a response, and please do not expect a response over the weekend. When you email, please identify yourself as a CMNS 130 student by including “CMNS 130” in the title of the email. We will response within 48 hours. If you have not heard from your TM or instructor within 48 hours, please send a follow-up message.



Course readings will be available on Canvas (under the section of “files”).

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.