- Objective: Analyze a communication practice to social realities
- You may use a social media platform, TV, radio, newspapers…
- Write a mini-essay (500-1250 words, double-spaced) using the Guiding Questions
- Include your name and student number at the top of your file and in your file name (ex. Harman 000 000 0000). If you forget to write your name or student number, I will deduct points!
Format: As you would with an assignment, upload on Canvas under “Final Exam Upload” in Word or PDF.
Guiding Questions: Use the following points as guidelines, answering the questions, then write them in paragraph forms together.
The platform: Introduction (about 100-150 words)
a) Choose a communication object _________________ (social media, TV, radio, newspaper)
b) Why did you choose this object? Why is it important to study in a communication and social change class? How did your relationship with this object change?
c) Identify the main theme in this object you would like to explore (the impact of that object in
d) Write a brief summary of your main points about this object – this will be your thesis.
(example of introduction draft: For this essay I have chosen the memes with the “Hotline Bling” (2015) music video, by Drake, because it makes interesting comments on issues certain social groups refuse or accept in their own identity. The use of memes is a crucial part of society nowadays, and through that we can express refusal or acceptance of certain behaviours and norms that differentiates this from an older generation, that may not even know Drake. Thus, while this meme reinforces generational links it also plays an important role in stressing different attitudes towards everyday life.)
The Communications Object and the Culture Industries (100-200 words)
Situate (put) the object in the discussions of the Culture Industry and discuss.
a) Describe every important aspect of that product in its context;
b) Discuss each part in relation to your communication object in 1-3 sentences using concepts from the text.
(example: Drake is a rapper, whose songs approach new aspects of society, like[…]. However, according to the Culture Industry perception (Pearson, 2020) pop music, like this, can be used to […])
Social Changes (about 300-500 words)
Choose at least ONE of the following social change dimensions with which you will analyze your object. You should analyze how your object approaches the chosen aspects and can influence people over history:
- race and ethnicity
- disability and health
- national framing
(In my example: The aforementioned conflict between different generations expressed in this meme usages can be merged with perceptions of how we rely on those messages to express parts of our identities…)
Theoretical Perspectives (about 200-400 words)
- Choose some of the following theoretical perspectives or models to add a deep analysis your cultural object and what it represents: How would the theory or theorist explain your cultural object?
- Cultural Studies – Stuart Hall and the British Cultural Studies
- Critical studies – Frankfurt School and the Critical Studies
- Strong Effects Theories – Hypodermic Needle/Magic Bullet or the Mass Society
- Limited Effects perspective – Two-Step Flow and Lazarsfeld’s perspective
(Example: Adorno and Horkheimer (2018) would point that the repetition of formulas on the RAP music, with lyrics mentioning their wealth and power is also present in the meme reproduction on social status…)
Reflection and Summary (about 100-150 words)
Summarize your main thoughts about your analysis of the communicational object, including:
- What makes this object unique or special as a source of information about communications?
- What can this object tell us about the society we live in and about the specific theoretical dimensions you discussed?
- What can be learned from studying communications platforms in this way?
- Academic Sources and Citations – Include a “References” list at the end of your work
- All sources must be relevant to your topic and from 2010 or later (unless classics, such as The Communist Manifesto or Orientalism)
- APA style – ex. (Lee, 2018) or (Lee, 2018, p. 3). Please use Alexander College’s APA Citation Guide to help you
- 2 in-text citations per paragraph
- 3-5+ academic references, including books, journal articles, and high-quality websites etc