Soci 373: sociology of mass media



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SOCI 373: SOCIOLOGY OF MASS MEDIA

SPRING 2016

MWF 11:30-12:20

Avery Hall 119


Dr. Brandon Bosch

Oldfather 722

Office Hours: Monday 1:00-3:00, Tuesday 1:00-3:00, Wednesday 9:00-10:30

Email: bbosch2@unl.edu


This class will focus on mass media representations of gender, race, class, and politics, as well as the cultural, legal, economic, and institutional factors influencing the production of media texts. We will also discuss the ways in which media audiences (not just media scholars) make sense of media texts.
Types of media to be discussed include advertisements, film (including romantic comedies, drama, horror, action, and war films), news media, comic books, video games, “reality” television, and sitcoms. Due to time constraints, popular music, novels, and “new” media will receive relatively less attention.
Much of the class will focus on classic theories and media texts. Many of the examples discussed in class will likely be things that you have not seen (e.g., It Happened One Night, The Maltese Falcon, Halloween, Apocalypse Now, When Harry Met Sally). This is done to expose you to media texts (and historical contexts) that you might be unaware of, and give you the opportunity to compare them with the media that you consume today.
The learning objectives and the means for assessing them for this class are as follows:
Goal 1 Students will become more aware of the media content that they regularly

consume.


Assessment 1 The two online journals require students to document the types of media

content that they consume and link them to the readings and lecture.


Goal 2 Students will learn how to analyze representations of race, class, and

gender in mass media.

Assessment 2 ­The media analysis paper has students analyze representations of race,

class, and gender in the film Million Dollar Baby (2004).


Goal 3 Students will have a mastery of core concepts from lecture and readings.
Assessment 3 Class discussion, an in-class multiple choice and short essay exam, and a

take-home essay exam.



REQUIRED TEXTS

(1) Gail Dines and Jean Humez (2015). Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader. 4th Edition. Readings from this book are labeled GRC in the syllabus.


(2) Ms. Marvel (2014). #1 ($0.99 for digital copy).

http://marvel.com/comics/issue/49089/ms_marvel_2014_1


(3) Million Dollar Baby (2004). You must watch this film for your media analysis paper. You do not necessarily need to buy the film (brand new copies are available for only $4.00 on Amazon), since you can use Netflix or interlibrary loans.
(4) There will also be a number of readings posted on Blackboard. These online texts are labeled “OT” in the syllabus.
ASSIGNMENTS

Participation

15%

Media Journal (2)

20%

Media Analysis Paper

20%

Exam I

20%

Exam II

25%

(1) Participation

To receive a C or higher in your participation grade you must make substantive comments or questions in class.
(2) Media Journal

The media journal can be done for any week before the due date. The media journal must include four different media texts. After a brief description of the media text (2-3 sentences), you must explicitly link what you saw with something discussed in class (another 2-3 sentences). These entries must be on at least two different days and must not all be on the same topic, television show, or genre.


(3) The Media Analysis Paper

You will write a 4-6 page paper that critically analyses the ways in which race, class, and gender are represented in the film Million Dollar Baby (2004). The paper must make explicit references to specific concepts discussed in class, and justify these claims by describing relevant scenes (and the approximate times in which they take place in the film).


(4) Exam 1

This will be an in-class exam with a combination of multiple choice and short essay.


5) Exam II

This will be a take-home essay exam in which you will need to cite lecture and reading materials to make an argument.



Class Policies

Electronic Policy: No computers, electronics, or non-class materials can be used in class, and chatting with a neighbor during class is also prohibited. The first violation of this policy results in a two letter grade deduction from your participation grade. The second violation of this policy results in a 50% for your participation grade. The third violation of this policy results in a zero for your participation grade. Subsequent violations will result in grade deductions from your online journal grade.


Grade Appeals: Wait at least 24 hours. Provide a written statement explaining why you think you have been graded unfairly. Any grade complaint that references how hard you worked or studied will be rejected. I reserve the right to keep your grade the same or lower it. All appeals of grades must be made within 5 working days following the day the assignment was returned.
Any act of plagiarism or cheating will result in a zero for that assignment.
Late assignments will be immediately docked a full letter grade. If the assignment is not handed in by midnight (via email), the paper will be docked an additional Letter Grade. If the assignment is not handed in by the beginning of class time the next day (or its equivalent on a weekend/holiday), the assignment will receive a zero. Note: There will be a different policy for Late Exams.
Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the instructor for a confidential discussion of their individual needs for academic accommodation. It is the policy of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to provide flexible and individualized accommodation to students with documented disabilities that may affect their ability to fully participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. To receive accommodation services, students must be registered with the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office, 132 Canfield Administration, 472-3787 voice or TTY.
1/11 M INTRODUCTION
MEDIA LITERACY

1/13 W OT: Hobbs (1998). The Seven Great Debates in the Media Literacy Movement.



Journal of Communication, 48, 16-32.


MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER AND SEXUALITY

1/15 F GRC: Moore. Resisting, Reiterating, and Dancing Through (210-219).


1/18 M MLK DAY—NO CLASS

1/20 W GRC: Booth. Queering Queer Eye (409-418).


1/22 F GRC: Kessler. Showtime Thinks, Therefore I Am (600-609).
1/25 M GRC: Murray. Branding ‘Real’ Social Change in Dove’s Campaign for Real

Beauty (285-296).


1/27 W OT: Sarkeesian (2010). Toy Ads and Learning Gender. Feminist Frequency.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZn_lJoN6PI


1/29 F GRC: Fairclough. Nothing Less Than Perfect: Female Celebrity, Ageing and

Hyperscrutiny in the Gossip Industry (297-305).


2/1 M GRC: Cuklanz and Moorti. Television’s ‘New’ Feminism: Prime-Time

Representations of Women and Victimization (175-186).

2/3 W OT: Lizardi (2010). “Re-Imagining” Hegemony and Misogyny in the

Contemporary Slasher Remake. Journal of Popular Film and Television,



38, 113-121.
2/5 F GRC: Petersen. That Teenage Feeling: Twilight, Fantasy, and Feminist Readers

(342-353).



ONLINE MEDIA JOURNAL # 1 DUE BY 10:00 AM
2/8 M OT: Katz. Advertising and the construction of violent white masculinity (p.

261-269)


2/10 W GRC: Katz. Big Talkers: Rush Limbaugh, Conservative Talk Radio and the

Defiant Reassertion of White Male Authority (157-162).


2/12 F OT: Gillam and Wooden (2008). Post-Princess Models of

Gender: The New Man in Disney/Pixar. Journal of Popular Film and



Television, 36, 2-8.


MEDIA CONSTRUCTION OF RACE AND ETHNICITY

2/15 M GRC: Hall. The Whites of Their Eyes (104-107).



GRC: McKay and Johnson. Pornographic Eroticism and Sexual Grotesquerie in

Representations of African American Sportswomen (118-127).


2/17 W GRC: Smith. Critiquing Reality-Based Televisual Black Fatherhood

(524-535).


2/19 F OT: Mcllwain and Caliendo (2013). Mitt Romney’s Racist Appeals. American

Behavioral Scientist, 4, 1-12.
2/22 M GRC: Drew. Pretending to be “Post-Racial” (167-174).
2/24 W GRC: Wang. A Shot at Half-Exposure: Asian Americans in Reality TV Shows

(536-544)


2/26 F GRC: Lopez. Fan activists and the Politics of Race in the Last Airbender (637-

648).
2/29/ M Ms. Marvel (2014). #1 ($0.99) for digital copy). http://marvel.com/comics/issue/49089/ms_marvel_2014_1

3/2 W EXAM # 1
3/4 F MYSTERY MOVIE DAY
3/7 M MYSTERY MOVIE DAY

ONLINE MEDIA JOURNAL # 2 DUE BY 10:00 AM

NEWS MEDIA

3/9 W OT: Bennett (2005) Four Biases (36-70). News: The Politics of Illusion.



OT: Brent Cunningham (2003). Re-thinking Objectivity. Columbia Journalism

Review.

http://www.cjr.org/feature/rethinking_objectivity.php

3/11 F OT: Lawrence (1996). Accidents, Icons, and Indexing: The Dynamics of News

Coverage of Police use of Force. Political Communication, 13, 437-454.


3/14 M OT: Powell (2011). Framing Islam: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of

Terrorism Since 9/11. Communication Studies, 62, 90-112.



ONLINE MEDIA ESSAY DUE BY 10:00 AM
MEDIA REGULATION, NORMS & ROUTINES

3/16 W OT: Platts (Under Review). “[Zombies] Couldn’t Be Done on Network”:

Producing AMC’s The Walking Dead.

3/18 F OT: Suderman (July 19, 2013). “Save the Movie!” Slate.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/07/hollywood_and_blake_snyder_s_screenwriting_book_save_the_cat.html

OT: Ebert (1999) L-M (92-99). The Bigger Little Book of Hollywood Cliches.
SPRING VACATION

3/21 M NO CLASS

3/23 W NO CLASS

3/25 F NO CLASS


POLITICAL ECONOMY & CONSUMER CULTURE

3/28 M GRC: Foster and McChesney. The Internet’s Unholy Marriage to Capitalism

(43-50).
3/30 W OT: Colhoun (April 16, 2015). BuzzFeed’s Censorship Problem. Columbia Journalism Review. http://www.cjr.org/analysis/buzzfeed_censorship_problem.php

OT: Belson (September, 1, 2015). Sony Altered “Concussion” Film to

Prevent N.F.L. Protests, Emails Show. New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/sports/football/makers-of-sonys-concussion-film-tried-to-avoid-angering-nfl-emails-show.html
4/1 F GRC: Hardy. Mapping Commercial Intertextuality (327-336).
4/4 M GRC: Ouellette. Take Responsibility for Yourself”: Judge Judy and the

Neoliberal Citizen (545-55).


4/6 W GRC: Palmer. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: An American Fairy Tale

(51-57).
CULTURE & IDEOLOGY IN FILM

4/8 F OT: Gianos (1998). Movies and the Great Depression (p. 75-103).

GRC: Lee and Moscowitz. The ‘Rich Bitch’ (143-156).

4/ 11 M OT: Wright. (2001). Questioning Authority (226-253). Comic Book Nation.

4/ 13 W OT: Giglio (2005). Picturing Vietnam on Film (201-220). Here’s Looking at

You.
4/15 F OT: Prince (2009). No End in Sight (281-309). Firestorm.
4/18 M OT: Douthat (April, 2008). The Return of the Paranoid Style. The Atlantic.

http://www.jmhinternational.com/news/news/selectednews/files/2008/04/20080401_Atlantic_TheReturnOfTheParanoidStyle.pdf



OT: Dargis (May 2, 2013). Bang, Boom. New York Times.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/movies/iron-man-3-with-robert

downey-jr.html


MEDIA EFFECTS AND AUDIENCES

4/20 W GRC: Radway. Women Read the Romance (58-68).


4/22 F GRC: Butsch. Reconsidering Resistance and Incorporation (87-98).
4/25 M WORK ON EXAM ESSAY
4/27 W WORK ON EXAM ESSAY
4/29 F HARD COPY OF EXAM II DUE BY NOON

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