Communication And Culture | Methods of Media Research
C506 | 1173 | Anderson


We inhabit a culture suffused by an almost commonplace "mediaphobia"
-- a fear that society is being inexorably poisoned by the very forms
of news and entertainment to which we willingly devote vast portions of
our daily lives.  Public mistrust is so pervasive that academic
criticism seems altogether superfluous.  This course will question
both the social role of the media and of critical media studies in an
age of popular skepticism.  The course will introduce students to
methods of cultural analysis that are applied to the study of the media
-- including methods of textual and discourse analysis, institutional
analysis, audience research, and historiography.  Our goal will be to
examine the procedures for moving from theoretical inquiry to applied
research.  We will attempt to identify key problems in media studies,
to formulate research questions and locate useful sites of analysis, to
organize and conduct research, and to construct a convincing argument
in one's writing.  Above all, we will attempt to identify the social
position, the politics, and the professional practices of the academic
media critic at the end of the millenium.