Sociology of Media

Prerequisite: CHSS/SOC 1110 Invitation to Sociology
'The media do not simply add a new element to the story, they transform it' (Livingstone 2009). This course highlights the significance of media in contemporary life, shaping social processes and at the same time shaped by the cultures in which media are used and produced. Reviewing both macro-level social theory of media (i.e., Adorno, Baudrillard, Habermas) and micro-level ethnographic case studies of media production and consumption (i.e., Madianou, Miller, Skeggs), this course provides students with different perspectives in the analysis of mediation and media power. Some of the questions asked in the course include: How does television create symbolic spaces of inclusion and exclusion? How are today's moral panics about the Internet similar to historical concerns about the telephone or the comic book? How have new communications technologies redefined meanings and expectations of friend, family and lover? In asking these questions, the course foregrounds not only the great new possibilities that modern media afford, but also the social inequalities and ethical problems that media contribute to and complicate.