In contemporary society, the media, including the Internet, television, smart phones, radio, magazines, movies, music, newspapers, and books, saturate our everyday lives to an extent unprecedented in human history. Their effects are wide-ranging and transformative, including affecting our perception of reality, influencing how and what we think about, and framing our understanding of the world around us. Yet, due to their pervasiveness, rarely do we seriously consider the media and the issues they raise. This course will introduce you to the seminal theories in media studies. By considering these different approaches, we will situate the media in a broader historical, social, political, and economic context to better understand their nature and their roles in (re)producing the (global) societies we live in. We will examine the structures, forces, and environments that produce media; we will analyze mediated texts and images and their roles in shaping our ideas, cultures, and identities; and, we will explore the different ways people actively engage in using and interpreting the media.
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