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CMST 4P03 Social Activism And The Media

Academic Year: Winter 2018

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Song Shi

Email: shis19@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 333

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Thursday 12 to 13



Course Objectives:

This course is designed as the combination of seminar and lecture. It will explore the role of different forms of media in the relationship between social change, social activism, social movements, and the state and corporate interests. The key objective of this course will be to introduce students to the concepts, theories, and research in the field of media and social activism and to guide students to examine the complex relationship between media, communication, and social, political, and cultural changes. This course will explore social activism in theoretical and practical terms and examine the use of media, technologies, and communication strategies among activists and NGOs in their actions for social change. In the first part of the course, students will learn different approaches to analyze and discuss the role of media in social change, social movement, and social actions. The second part of the course will focus on selected case studies of media, social activism, social change, and social movements in different parts of the world.

 

Prerequisites:

Knowledge of foreign language is not required. All readings are in English.

 

Course Goals:

  • To understand various approaches to analyze and discuss media, social change, and social activism;
  • To analyze, discuss, and present these approaches in a critical and effective way;
  • To recognize contributions made by scholars in the study of media, social change, and social activism;
  • To understand the relationship between theory and practice in the field;


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

All texts including required and recommended readings will be available in electronic version or on reserve.


Method of Assessment:

A written paper at the end of the semester may take any number of forms, depending on individual student’s interests. Suggestions include: (a) a research paper on an aspect of media, social change, and social activism; or (b) a project of the student’s choice, to be discussed with instructor for approval. A written proposal for the paper or the project will be due by mid-term (2018-02-26). Students will be graded largely on participation in class, and in the activities of the class.

  1. Reading and discussion of required readings: students are expected to have done all of the required readings before class and come fully prepared to discuss the topic and related required readings.
  2. Proposal for the paper or the project: A written proposal (8 to 10 pages) for the final paper or the project will be due by mid-term (2018-02-26). In the proposal, students shall outline the issue he/she will explore in the final paper/project, discuss the significance of the issue, and include a brief literature review and a list of related sources/reference.
  3. Leading class discussion: Each student/each group has around 30 minutes to lead discussion for one unit in the course. The discussion will be based on the required readings of the unit and focuses on media, social activism, and social change. The discussion leader is encouraged to incorporate his/her own background knowledge, recommended readings of the topic, or other new materials of his/her choice with instructor’s approval into the discussion. If the discussion leader wants to incorporate the recommended readings of the topic or new readings of his/her choice into the discussion, he/she shall discuss with the instructor for approval at least one week before the unit. In the class, the discussion leader is expected to introduce the topic, summarize the readings of the unit, and lead the discussion.
  4. Students’ presentations of their final paper/project: In Week 13, each student will make a 10 to 15 minutes’ presentation of his/her final paper/project to the class and will get comments and advices from the instructor and other students to strengthen the final paper/project. Students will present their research alphabetically in the two classes.
  5. Final Paper (20-25 pages): due April 16th, 2018 at 5pm.

All written work for the course must be submitted in the following format: double spaced, Times New Roman 12pt font, 1" margins, numbered pages. Follow APA format for citation and reference.

 

 Evaluation

Attendance

5%

Attendance

Participation

20%

Participation in class discussion

Proposal

10%

Proposal for the paper or the project due by mid-term (2018-02-26)

Leading discussion

20%

Performance in leading the discussion for one unit

Final paper or project

15%

In-class presentation of the final paper or final project

30%

Final paper or final project (April 16th, 2018 at 5pm)


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

All written work must be submitted by email and do not slide them under the instructor’s door. Late assignments will be penalized 5% a day (weekends will count as one day). Late penalties will not be waived unless your Faculty/Program Office advises the instructor that you have submitted to that office the appropriate documentation to support your inability to submit the work by the due date.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.


Topics and Readings:

At certain points in the course it may make good sense to modify the schedule outlined below. The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly

 

Class Schedule

Week 1 Topic: Introduction

Unit1 Overview of the course and the significance of the research on media, social activism, and social change

Readings:

  1. Read the syllabus of the course
  2. Read Martin, B. (2007). Activism, social and political. Encyclopedia of activism and social justice, 1, 19-27.

 

Unit2 Introduction to the field

Readings:

  1. Cammaerts, B. (2007). Activism and media. in Cammaerts, Bart, Carpentier Nico , Reclaiming the media: communication rights and democratic media roles. Bristol, UK, Intellect, 2007 pp. 217-224. ISBN 9781841501635
  2. Chapter 1: Introduction in de Jong, M. W., Shaw, M., & Stammers, N. (2005). Global activism, global media. Pluto Press.

 

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Week 2 Topic: The Role of Media in Social Change and Social Actions: A Communication for Social Change and Development Approach

 

Unit1 Reading:

Read Chapter 1 “Two World (view)s Apart? Modernization Versus Dependency” in Communication for development : One world, multiple cultures

Servaes, J. (1999). Communication for development : One world, multiple cultures . Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press.

 

Unit2 Reading:

1. Read page 49 to 66 in Chapter 2 “The Best of Both World (view)s: Multiplicity” in Communication for development : One world, multiple cultures

2. Read Servaes, J., & Malikhao, P. (2012). Advocacy communication for peacebuilding. Development in Practice, 22(2), 229-243.

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Week 3 Topic: The Role of Media in Society and Social Change: A Critical Approach

 

Unit1 Readings:

  1. Read Hall, S. (1973). Encoding and decoding in the television discourse

 

Unit2 Readings:

  1. Read Herman, Edward S. and Chomsky, Noam (1988) Manufacturing Consent, Pantheon Books (chapter: ’A Propaganda Model’, pp 1-35).
  2. Watch part of the video, Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky And The Media (1992), in class (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBhBfa6gK60 ) (The video contains images of war and violence. )

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Week 4 Topic: Media and Global Activism: A Public Sphere and Global Media Approach

 

Unit1 Reading:

  1. Read Chapter 2 “Media and the Global Public Sphere” by Colin Sparks in Global activism, global media. Pluto Press.

 

Unit2 Reading:

  1. Read Chapter 3 “Social Movements and Global Activism” by Neil Stammers and Catherine Eschle in Global activism, global media. Pluto Press.

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Week 5 Topic: Media and Social Actions: A Social Movement Approach

 

Unit1 Readings:

  1. Benford, R. D., & Snow, D. A. (2000). Framing processes and social movements: An overview and assessment. Annual review of sociology, 611-639.

Unit2 Reading:

  1. Snow, D. A., Rochford Jr, E. B., Worden, S. K., & Benford, R. D. (1986). Frame alignment processes, micromobilization, and movement participation. American sociological review, 464-481.

 

Recommended Readings :

Fuentes‐Bautista, M., & Gil‐Egui, G. C. (2011). Community Media and the Rearticulation of State–Civil Society Relations in Venezuela. Communication, Culture & Critique, 4(3), 250-274.

 

 

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Week 6 Topic: Convergence Culture and Transmedia Activism: the Case of Immigrant Rights Movement in the USA

 

Unit1 Convergence Culture and Transmedia Activism: an Introduction

Readings:

  1. Read Introduction in Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. (In Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture : Where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press)
  2. Read Introduction in Costanza-Chock, S. (2014). Out of the shadows, into the streets! Transmedia organizing and the immigrant rights movement. Cambridge MA, The MIT Press

 

Unit2 A Day Without an Immigrant: Social Movements and the Media Ecology

 

Readings:

  1. Read Chapter 1 “A Day Without an Immigrant: Social Movements and the Media Ecology” in Costanza-Chock, S. (2014). Out of the shadows, into the streets! Transmedia organizing and the immigrant rights movement. Cambridge MA, The MIT Press.

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Week 7 Topic: Collective Intelligence and Online Activism: A Case Study of Online Activism in China

 

Unit1 Readings:

  1. Read Introduction in Collective intelligence: Mankind's emerging world in cyberspace.

Lévy, P., 1956-. (1997). Collective intelligence: Mankind's emerging world in cyberspace. New York: Plenum Trade.

  1. Read page 7 to 31 in Chapter 5, “How activists and individual users of the Internet are involved in new media for social change”, in New Media and Information and Communication Technologies for Social Change and Development in China

Shi, S. (2013) New Media and Information and Communication Technologies for Social Change and Development in China.

 

Unit2 Case analysis of Tiger Gate

 

Readings:

Read page 32 to 45 in Chapter 5, “How activists and individual users of the Internet are involved in new media for social change”, in New Media and Information and Communication Technologies for Social Change and Development in China

 

Recommended Readings:

Chapter 5, “How activists and individual users of the Internet are involved in new media for social change”, in New Media and Information and Communication Technologies for Social Change and Development in China

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Week 8 Topic: Mainstream Media, NGOs, and Activists in Social Change Actions

 

Unit1 Readings:

  1. Read Chapter 5 “From Aldermaston Marcher to Internet Activist” in in Global activism, global media. Pluto Press.

 

Unit2 Readings:

  1. Read Chapter 6 “Dying for Diamonds: The Mainstream Media and the NGOs – A Case Study of ActionAid” in in Global activism, global media. Pluto Press.
  2. Watch part of the video, Diamond Empire (1994), in class (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDfs54uwG9w&t=1560s ) (The video contains images of war and violence )

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Week 9 Topic: Civil Society Organizations involvements in new media for social change in the West and the East

 

Unit1 Civil Society Organizations’ use of new media and the Internet in the West

Readings:

  1. Read Chapter 14 “Civil society organisations and the internet: the case of Amnesty International, Oxfam and the World Development Movement” in Global activism, global media. Pluto Press

 

Unit2 Readings:

  1. Yang, G. (2007). How do Chinese civic associations respond to the internet? Findings from a survey. China Quarterly, (189), 122-143..

 

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Week 10 The World Development Movement and Peace Activism

 

Unit1 Readings:

  1. Read Chapter 8“The World Development Movement Access and Representation of Globalisation – Activism in the Mainstream Press” in Global activism, global media.

 

Unit2 Readings:

  1. Read Chapter 9“Peace Activism and Western Wars: Social Movements in Mass-Mediated Global Politics” in Global activism, global media.
  2. Watch part of the video, War Made Easy (2007), in class (The video contains images of war and violence )

 

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Week 11 Topic: The diversity of social actions and social movements

 

Unit1 Readings:

  1. Read Chapter 11 “If it Leads it Bleeds: The Participatory Newsmaking of the Independent Media Centre” in Global activism, global media.

 

Unit2 Climate Denial Movement

Readings:

  1. Read Chapter 4 “The History of Denial” in Washington, H. (2013). Climate change denial: Heads in the sand. Routledge.

 

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Week 12 Topic: Activism and Technologies: Free Software Movement

 

Unit1 Readings:

  1. Read Chapter 2 “Chapter 2: 2001: A Hacker's Odyssey” in Williams, S. (2011). Free as in Freedom2.0 : Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".
  2. Watch the video, TEDxGE2014 Stallman (2014) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-plsyAbAOA ), in class

 

Unit2 Readings:

  1. Read Chapter 9 “The GNU General Public License” in Williams, S. (2011). Free as in Freedom2.0 : Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".
  2. Read the webpage, What is Creative Commons (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/ )
  3. Watch the video, Get Creative!(2002) (https://creativecommons.org/about/videos/get-creative/ ), in class

 

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Week 13 Topic: Students’ presentations of their final paper/project

Students and the instructor will provide feedback on each presentation

 

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Disclaimer: The course instructor reserves the right to alter course content or adjust the pace of the class and assignments to accommodate class progress.