Basic Media Theory A

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LecturerAkiko OGAWA, Associate Professor
DepartmentGraduate School of Languages and Cultures, 2015 Spring
Recommended for:Graduate School of Languages and Cultures (2週1回全15回)

Course Overview

Due to the spread of the internet and cell-phones, the mass media system that was developed in the 20th century is now faced with new challenges. In the first half of this course, we will reflect upon and study the creation of our mass communication oriented society. In the second half, we will critically and practically analyze the position of our media society and its future through active learning such as workshops and discussion.

Key Features Media theory is an area of research that has developed along with the rapid changes in media, which has resulted in a variety of subfields, methodologies, and research perspectives. In recent years, due to the proliferation of new textbooks, it has become easier to study.

The purpose of this course is to organize and review these research findings, and think about how we can apply them. We will mainly focus on the history of mass media and its research. Through the study of its history, we will analyze and examine the framework and perspective of media theory, the flow of information, and the relationships between media and society and media and power. Using this acquired perspective, we will aim to visualize the state of our chaotic digital media society.
In addition, to the lectures, we will incorporate active learning through workshops and discussion. Students should not only learn and understand, but also acquire the ability to critique this information, and learn how to apply it in real life situations.

Course Aim

Starting with media research, practice and production, this course will aim to give students a foundation of the basic concepts of media studies and understand related research, such as cultural research. By considering various disciplines, students will be able to understand the current multi-layered media environment and clearly assess their own research and vision for the future. Furthermore, throughout the lectures, students will aim to acquire essential skills for media professionals, such as communication and presentation skills.


No Lecture Content
1 What is media? 1: Introduction to workshop media
2 What is media? 2: The development of mechanical reproduction technology and the development of 19th century information technology 1
3 What is media? 3: The development of mechanical reproduction technology and the development of 19th century information technology 2.
4 What is media? 4: The creation of the 20th century mass media society.
5 What is media? 5: Mass society and pseudo-environments
6 Range of media research 1: Mass communication theory - powerful media effects
7 Range of media research 2: Mass communication theory - limited media effects
8 Range of media research 3: The appearance of media studies
9 Range of media research 4: Signs and Symbols
10 Range of media research 5: Space and media
11 Range of media research 6: Media events
12 Problems in media and contemporary society (Workshop) 1: Media literacy
13 Problems in media and contemporary society (Workshop) 2: The Great East Japan Earthquake and social media
14 Problems in media and contemporary society (Workshop) 3: Introduction to network theory
15 Course Review

Grading method

In-class presentation (30%), In-class participation (40%), Final assignment (30%)
Students absent 5 times or more will be given an ABSENT grade.

Last updated

May 08, 2020