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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Communications (COMM)

COMM 408 (S T S 408) Cultural Foundations of Communications (3) Examination of oral, scribal, print, industrial, and electronic cultures; analysis of impact of technology on communications and social structure.

COMM (S T S) 408 Cultural Foundations of Communications (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

COMM (S T S) 408 traces the development of communications technologies and their impact on culture over the last 500 years. Students will examine how different tools for communicating changed the way people organized and made sense of their worlds. The course begins by looking at oral cultures and moves on to the scribal, print, industrial, electronic and post-industrial or postmodern cultures, studying the media developments that marked each of these eras. With each period and its corresponding technology students will examine how and why the new media altered not only the form of communication (the type of speech, form of writing and/or speed of information transfer), but also how such changes altered the content of knowledge (how people made sense of their lives and communities). Readings are drawn from a range of disciplinary perspectives on the issues, from history, sociology and anthropology, to philosophy, communication studies and cultural theory.

The historical and theoretical knowledge provided by the course will give students a solid foundation for coming to terms with media trends in present-day society and for thinking through their possible epistemological, political and cultural impacts.

The course is a communications elective for the Journalism and Telecommunications majors and the Media Studies minor.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Spring 2009
Prerequisite: select 3 credits fromCOMM 100, COMM 110, COMM 118, COMM 150, COMM 180, COMM 251, COMM 260W, COMM 320, COMM 370 ; or 3 credits of S T S

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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