COMM 125: Introduction to Communication - University of Pennsylvania (2019)

Course Description

This course introduces students to exploring communication and behavior, with a focus on mass and social media processes and effects. Topics include: the influence of social media on social relationships; the effects of biased media representations of social groups; the emotional experiences underlying the consumption of media, including for mood management; the political economy of the media industries; the political role and impact of the news media; the social and political impact of social media use; and other current topics.

The goal of the course is to provide students with (1) a general understanding of research design and methods for the study of communication, and (2) the basic conceptual tools needed to critically evaluate the findings, assumptions, theories, and methods examining communication behavior and media effects. The class will survey social scientific, critical, and cultural studies approaches to understanding communication and media processes, and their broader social implications. Students who take this course will acquire the tools to better understand and conceptualize issues and problems related to communication, and mass and social media prevalent today.