Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1991


Course syllabus for MCOM 845 Graduate Media Research

Course description: Communication and particularly mass communication are extremely important in and to modern society. Mass media are seen as both the root of many social problems and as the bases of improved standards of living, of comfort and convenience. They are targeted as both the heroes and as arch-villains. Everybody talks about "The Media," has theories about how and why "it" (taking plural media as a monolithic singular entity) behaves, and what its effects and consequences are.

If these popular speculations and particularly the policy results are to be at all meaningful, they should be based on knowledge of what valid research has shown about communication effects and processes. People need to know how to analyze and interpret published research in this area. WE also need to know what is still not known and what, in all probability, cannot be known. This then is one basis of the class.

This course also focuses on how to "think scientifically"—critically and analytically—how to do original research. Many of the examples of research design will be taken from mass communications, but these principles and designs are useful in other disciplines as well. The course deals with both quantitative and qualitative research.