As the mass media have become pervasive tools for information, persuasion, and entertainment throughout the world, concerns about their effects have become more pervasive. An understanding of media effects is important to academic researchers, media industry professionals, and media consumers alike. This course is designed to provide you with an overview and analysis of contemporary mass media – examining print, electronic, and web-based media from a historical and critical perspective. Throughout the course the sociological, economic and political effects of mass media – their structure, systems, regulation, industries, and operation – will be examined. We will also consider basic communication theories as they have been used to understand and explain various media systems. In addition, we will explore how the mass media influence and are influenced by the greater world community and gain a greater appreciation for how the mass media impact us, and the world around us.
By the end of this course students will:
- Understand the basic characteristics of the media – its structures, processes, and industries.
- Recognize and understand the major historical events, and the social contexts involved in the shaping of the contemporary mass media.
- Know more about how media and the international community interact and affect each other.
- Have a greater understanding of mass communication theory, law and ethics.
- Have a greater critical appreciation for the effects of media on individuals, societies, cultures, and the world around us.
- Recognize the role of media in changing political, social and cultural dynamics on local, national and international levels.
Your goal should be to expand your knowledge of the mass media and its dynamic, ever-evolving influence and impact on you and the world around you.
Field WorkCountry: China
Date: January 31, 2019
China has an extremely rich and varied movie making history dating back to the late 1890s. Today, China is among the largest film producers in the world with numerous production companies and bankable stars. China is also the fastest-growing movie market in the world, with box-office receipts in the billions. As a result, film companies around the world have shown great interest in producing movies in and for the Chinese market and with partnering with Chinese production companies. Our Field Class will provide us with two great opportunities to learn about the Chinese Film Industry. First, we will visit the Chinese Film Museum in Shanghai. Built on the grounds of one of the oldest film production companies in China and using exhibits and interactive displays, The Chinese Film Museum will offer us a fun and interesting opportunity to learn about the history, development and operation of the Chinese film industry. After a quick lunch, we head to the Shanghai Film Park to observe a working film studio/film lot that is somewhat modeled after film studios in other parts of the world. Along the way, we will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the film industry in China and ways in which it compares and contrasts to the film industry in other parts of the world.
1. To build a greater understanding of contemporary Chinese Film Industry and how that industry may compare to the film industry in other parts of the world.
2. Become more familiar with the long history and traditions of the Chinese Film Industry.
3. Make stronger connections between course readings about film and the film industry and its application to China and it’s film industry.
4. Promote critical thinking about our world and its varied political, cultural, economic and ideological perspectives when it comes to media.