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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Introduction to Media and Culture

COMM 121

Media play a central role in politics, economics, culture, and our everyday lives. Our key concern is to understand both the direct and subtle operations of media power in society today: How do media construct meaning? How new technologies transform our most intimate and personal relationships? How do data-driven corporations track and monetize their users often without their consent or political accountability? This class introduces students to different media studies traditions of medium theory, political economy, representations, and audience studies that examine media as (respectively) technologies, institutions, narratives, and audiences / users. The class takes an insistently global approach in analyzing the diversity and plurality of media cultures around the world. We also take a normative perspective in evaluating good and bad media practice in the ways that technologies and narratives can on the one hand deepen social inequalities and on the other hand challenge systems of oppression and amplify the voices of vulnerable communities.
Course Details


CPE Class with Moodle
Feb 1, 2021 - May 4, 2021
Jonathan Ong
Base Cost: $1,206 ($402/credit)
Term Fee: $50
Start date: Feb 01, 2021
End date: May 04, 2021
Last day to add: Feb 12, 2021
Last day to drop: Feb 12, 2021
Last day to withdraw: Mar 29, 2021