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Dannagal Goldthwaite Young (PhD, University
of Pennsylvania, 2007) is an Associate Professor in the Department of
Communication. Her research interests include political media effects,
public opinion, political satire and the psychology of political humor.
Her work on the role and effects of late-night comedy in the changing
political environment has been published in numerous journals including Media
Psychology, Political Communication, International Journal of
Press/Politics, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and Mass
Media and Society.
course explores the relationship between media and culture. We will
examine the history, functions, and industries of mass communication and
will explore certain topics (technological convergence, consolidation
of ownership, news economics, & media effects research) in depth.
Students will acquire a broad understanding of how the mass media affect
and interact with individuals and society.
For years politics and
entertainment have had a flirtatious and tumultuous relationship.
Nixon's appearance on Laugh-in, to the political comedy of the Smothers
Brothers, to the realistic presidential drama of The West Wing, to
presidential candidate appearances on late-night comedy programs. In
this course, we will look at some examples of this relationship
throughout history, with a specific focus on the latest trends in
"politico-tainment" from 1992 to the present. We will also examine the
other side of this equation - that is, while politics is integrated
into entertainment programs, so to are public affairs programs becoming
more entertainment-oriented in both content and style. In an
increasingly fragmented media environment with dwindling audience
shares, news programs have been getting creative with their content and
production choices - often incorporating more celebrity "news," more
dramatic stories, more of the bizarre and unusual, and more coverage of
entertainment. We will discuss both sides of this phenomenon, examine
causes and effects of these trends, and critically examine the normative
implications for citizenship and the healthy functioning of a
explores the fundamental processes of persuasion – including
psychological, sociological, and communicative processes. In doing so,
we will consider various aspects of messages, both verbal and visual,
and how these elements can influence attitudes, intentions, and
behaviors. We will explore each of these categories of persuasion
techniques in detail and apply them to persuasion in the context of
advertising and marketing, politics, and health campaigns. In addition
to acquiring skills as communication practitioners, we will also be
exploring these processes as critical consumers of mass media – better
understanding the tactics used by message senders to influence our
attitudes, opinions, and behaviors.
This course will
integrate communication theory into the practice of web design, focusing
on the social psychology of site usability. The course is designed to
provide students in the New Media Minor an opportunity to apply their
knowledge of design and programming to a project for an actual
non-profit client. Students in this course should already have
experience in and knowledge of web design and programming, as those will
not be taught in this course. Instead, we will learn how to
apply social science to the study of new media, review literature on
communication and usability theory, and integrate our observations into
the production of a website for a client.
Prereqs include Computer Science 103 and Art 307.
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