Course Description

What is “culture”? What is the relationship between “culture” and “communication”? What impact does culture/communication have on us as individuals? As a nation? How do we study or examine culture/communication and for what reasons? What is the relationship between between communication/culture and power? What are the implications of this relationship as it relates to social change? These are just a few of the questions that this introductory theory-oriented course grapples with throughout the semester.

This course begins with the premise that any study of communication entails an understanding of culture, and vice-versa.  Over the semester students will engage with a variety of theories that will facilitate an understanding of this complex connection between communication and culture. Though utilizing “textual analysis” as a critical methodological approach to the study of culture and communication, students will practice cultural criticism.

Each week we will touch on key communication and cultural theories and concepts and address contemporary topics such as news media and discourses of race, the manufacturing of Korean pop music and “idols,” the cultural appropriation of rap music, and the role of new media in current racial politics and social justice movements, etc.