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Media and Cultural Literacy

3 Credits

This course is a part of:
Associate's Degree Program
Bachelor's Degree Program

We may not recognize it, but as Americans living in the twenty-first century, we are constantly bombarded with messages from the movies, television, the Internet, radio, and advertisements. The multitude of messages we encounter each day attempt to persuade us to buy new products, go to the latest movies, or even change our political affiliation. In this course students will learn about the history and current state of mass communication in the U.S., from early newspapers and periodicals to the rise of the Internet and global media corporations. By discovering how mass media shapes our culture and influences our decisions about everything from the clothes we buy to the politicians we elect, we will become more savvy consumers and more responsible citizens. Students will learn how to approach media from a critical distance, and will learn that to truly understand the messages sent by the mass media, we must understand the power dynamics inherent in our current system.

Course Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this course, the student will have acquired knowledge and understanding of:

  • Mass media and the cultural landscape
  • The history and significance of sounds and images
  • How media conveys messages through words and pictures
  • The business of mass media
  • Democratic expression and the mass media
  • How media impacts our daily lives
  • Ethics and the production of media
  • How visual culture transforms the nation
  • How to approach media critically
  • The print revolution and the rise of the Internet
  • Media and the law
  • Media's role in governance
  • Mass media and cultural change
  • The global effects of media