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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 380
Course Title: Culture and Mass Media
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Emphasis on critical examination of contemporary mass media, including television, film, advertising and news. Sociological theories of mass media. History of mass media. Social impacts of mass media. Political influences on mass media. Information flows in democratic societies. Sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, and ethnocentrism in mass media. Advertising and consumerism. Popular culture. The internet. Offered Fall. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Fall.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Most current editions of the following:

Media/Society: Industries, Images and Audiences
By Croteau, David and William Hoynes (Sage)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader
By Dines, Gail and Jean M. (McMahon) Humez (Sage)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Racism, Sexism, and the Media: Multicultural Issues Into the New Communications Age
By Wilson, Clint C., Felix Gutierrez, and Lena M. Chao
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
The Business of Media
By Croteau, David and William Hoynes (Sage)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
The Sociology of News
By Schudson, Michael (W. W. Norton)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Mix It Up
By Grazian, David (W. W. Norton)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Watching TV is Not Required: Thinking about Media and Thinking About Thinking
By McGrane, Beernard and John Gunderson (Routledge)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Texts
Viewer Discretion Advised
By McCall, Jeffrey (Rowman and Littlefield)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Texts
Course Objectives
  • To investigate the role that mass media and popular culture play in shaping the public's awareness of social and political issues.
  • To investigate the history and current development of corporate ownership of mass media outlets.
  • To evaluate critically the role of propaganda in democratic societies.
  • To assess the impact of new media, including the internet, on consumption of mass media.
  • To assess critically the extent of sexism, racism, heterosexism, and stereotyping in the mass media.
Measurable Learning
  • Describe the major theoretical traditions in the sociology of culture and mass media.
  • Identify prominent trends in mass media ownership.
  • Identify and describe recent trends in the development of web-based media.
  • Explain the development of American TV culture and its diffusion around the globe.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with patterns of stereotyping and discrimination in mass media.
Topical Outline:
  • History of mass media
  • Sociological theories of culture and mass media
  • Mass media ownership
  • Interpreting images
  • Women and minorities in mass media
  • Political influences on the mass media

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Yngve Digernes Date: August 27, 2014
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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