Jan 22, 2022  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog

COM 275 - Mass Media & Society (= SOC 275)


This course will evaluate mass media and its role in contemporary society using sociological lenses of conflict theory. Specifically, we will use Fisher’s capitalist realism lens in learning about the boundaries placed on self and society within a capitalist system that produces alienation and mental illness. This course will evaluate how mainstream (“old”) and online (“new”) media perpetuate these boundaries and reinforce capitalist realism. In part of doing so, we will collectively develop new strategies for organizing online society to challenge rather than reinforce capitalist realism. Additionally, we will learn about the first set of digitally-instigated social revolutions that took place in the early 2010s across the Arab World, known as the “Arab Spring.” Beyond performing a case study of these revolutions, we will apply what we learned from these social movements to contemporary social movements that have also been promoted by the internet and digital medias. In particular, we will assess what lessons can be drawn from the Arab Spring to apply to 1) the 2019 protests in India against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and 2) the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests against the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Finally, we will study canonical critiques of the political economy of mass media - the “propaganda model” popularized by Herman & Chomsky in “Manufacturing Consent” - and apply these ideas to contemporary society, online media and social movements. We will end the semester by gaining an understanding of how digitally-instigated social movements provide new hopes for overcoming capitalist realism. 

Major credit in Sociology and Interdisciplinary Minor in Communication Studies.
Satisfies Social Science requirement.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement