Sociology | Media & Society
S339 | 20305 | VonDerHaar

I invite you to sit down in front of your television set...and keep
your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off.  I can assure
you that you will observe a vast wasteland.
-Newton Minow, 1961

This class is designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of
the media=s impact on society.  Not only will you learn more about the
media's role in American society, but you will also have the
opportunity to join a public forum where you can express your opinion
about it.

During the semester we will consider how the media shape and are
shaped by American culture.  This course is specifically designed to
help students improve their critical thinking skills.  Every class
will, therefore, involve both the analysis of media and a discussion
of students= opinions.  The first part of the semester will be devoted
to understanding how media influence our perceptions of the world that
surrounds us.  The last part will be devoted to advertising and
entertainment media, with a focus on the way that ads, television
programs, and films distort our perceptions of race, gender, and
social class.