Thursday, December 10, 2015

spring 2015 Mass Communication

Sociology of Mass Communication


TuTh 2:00PM - 3:20PM Env 110 Jan 19, 2016- May 13, 2016

Prof. Gabe Ignatow


This course is designed with specific learning outcomes in mind, applicable to sociology majors and non-majors:
  1. Develop a basic understanding of the social dimensions of information communication technologies.
  2. Read, with substantial comprehension, current articles, reports, and academic papers related to developments in information technology and social science.
  3. Extract from the readings an understanding of the social and political context surrounding digital information systems.


Weeks 1 and 2

I. Theorizing the mass media revolution

Week 3

II. Information overload and cultural decline

Week 4: Exam 1 (25%) Thursday February 11

Week 5

III. The information society

Weeks 6-8

IV. Digital divides
  • Cooper The Digital Divide: The Special Case of Gender
  • Tufekci, Zeynep. Brogrammers.

Week 9: Exam 2 (30%)

Weeks 10-11

V. Media consumption

VI. Reception studies

  • Livingstone and Das (2013) The End of Audiences?
  • Picone, Ike (2016) Grasping the Digital News User
  • Liebes and Katz (1986) Patterns of Involvement in Television Fiction

Weeks 12-13

VII. Social media and social movements

Week 14

VIII. Hyper-partisanship

Week 15
Final Exam Review

Final Exam (25%) Thursday May 12, 1:30pm

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Saskia Sassen on the brutal logic of contemporary capitalism

Monday, October 12, 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Undergraduate GPAs and PhD Admissions
maps of Facebook connections

Global City-Firm Networks

PhD work – R Wall, mentor Dr. G.A. v.d. Knaap.
Acknowledgements - Michiel Raats and Wilfred Sleegers.
Faculty of Applied Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Client , Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP).
 A = total connections.
B = basic materials connections.
C = manufacturing connections.
D = trade connections
E = producer services connection

The world mapped by cell phone calls.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

globalization review sheet for exam September 23

Sociology 4260/5260 Globalization fall 2015

For exam 1 on Wednesday September 23 you should be able to define and discuss the following terms, from sections I. Introduction - III. Economic Globalization up to and including the Kenichi Ohmae reading.

Definitions of globalization
Nation-state sociology
Global infrastructure
Clash of Civilizations
Cold War
Western liberal teleology
East versus West
“Western Civil War”
Blaming the victim
“The True Clash of Civilizations”
“The Clash of Ignorance”
World System Theory (WST)
World empires
World economies
Strong states
Core countries
Global capitalism
International Telegraph Union
Universal Postal Union
International Meteorological Organization
Metric system
Transnational Capitalist Class
Culture-ideology of consumerism
Shopping malls
“Global flows”
Samuel Huntington
Immanuel Wallerstein
Benjamin Barber
E.J. Hobsbawm
Jan Nederveen Pieterse
Leslie Sklair
Peter Martin
Martin Wolf
Kenichi Ohmae
Global logic

theory review sheet for exam Monday September 21

Introduction to Sociological Theory
Review Sheet for Exam 1
Monday September 21 in class

The 1st exam will cover the course readings on the syllabus through Durkheim on mechanical and organic solidarity.

You should be able to define and discuss all of the following terms. Note that this list is a guide only, and everything from the lectures and readings for this section of the course can be included on the exam.

  • C. W. Mills
  • Weber on Verstehen
  • Durkheim’s Suicide
  • Marx on false consciousness
  • Simmel on urban life
  • Durkheim on mechanical and organic solidarity

What is sociological theory?
What is a theory?
C. Wright Mills
“Culture and Politics”
“false consciousness”
Suicide and social integration

Karl Marx
“The German Ideology”
Max Weber
“‘Objectivity in Social Science and Social Policy’”
Emile Durkheim

“Anomic Suicide”
Charles Darwin
Auguste Comte
Thomas Malthus
Herbert Spencer
Ferdinand Toennies
Georg Simmel
“Fashion” and “The Problem of Sociology”
Network analysis

Conflict theory
Cultural Theory

Organic analogy
Theological stage
Metaphysical stage
Positivist stage

Natural selection
“survival of the fittest”
“Laws of Population Growth”

Gemeinschaft (“Community”)
Gesellschaft (“Society”)

“The Metropolis and Mental Life”
Network analysis

Mechanical solidarity
Organic solidarity

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Limits of Language: Wittgenstein explains why we always misunderstand one another on the Internet.


“Describe the aroma of coffee—why can't it be done? Do we lack the words? and for what are words lacking?—But how do we get the idea that such a descirption must after all be possible? Have you ever felt the lack of such a description? Have you tried to describe the aroma and not succeeded?” Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations.

Here's a wonderful Slate article on Wittgenstein.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Review Sheet for Final Exam 8.12

Review Sheet for Final Exam on the Production of Culture Perspective


Richard Peterson, Why 1955? Explaining the Advent of Rock Music (get from JSTOR)
Wendy Griswold, American Character and the American Novel (get from JSTOR)


Mass culture model
Cultural conservatives
Cultural radicals
Cultural homogenization
Free market assumption
Monopoly assumption
Niche model
Entrepreneurial brokers
Centralized brokersProduction of culture
Culture industries
Copyright law
Supply-side explanations
Demand-side explanations

Legal changes
U.S. Copyright Law
Technological changes
45 rpm record

Reflection theory
Origins of the novel
American character
American novels
European novels

Field position
Cultural intermediaries
Talent scouts