MCM511 : Theories of Communication

Course Overview

Course Synopsis

The course focuses on theory introduction and the implications. It introduces the field through a review of theoretical frameworks that have served as foundations for and shaped the study of mass communication. It is designed to introduce you to a broad range of approaches to mass communication theory. It offers a thorough understanding of the theories of media effects, propaganda theories, theories of communication processes, middle range theories, critical & cultural theories of Mass communication and political economy theory. This course is aimed at providing you with the knowledge and understanding of a variety of communication theories including Agenda Setting theory, Framing & Spiral of Silence, Two Step Flow of Information, Diffusion of Innovation Theory, Marshall McLuhan’s Media Determinism Theory, Knowledge Gap Theory, cultivation theory, Media System Dependency Theory, Uses and Gratifications Theory, Reception Theory, consumer society and culture industry thesis.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the influences the media has on the public.
  • Adopt different media theories in research methodology and designing messages.
  • Able to analyze concepts and issues in mass communication theory, and to develop and defend their own positions on a variety of issues.
  • Determine, through the exploration of debates and case studies, how the positions that they have developed might apply to circumstances arising in their professional practice.
  • Identify and to recognize a limited number of major theories well, and have an acquaintance with certain others that might be useful as they come up in other courses.


Course Calendar

1 Communication
2 Theory, Paradigm and Model (I)
3 Theory, Paradigm and Model (II)
4 From Communication to Mass Communication
5 Normative Theories
6 Hutchins Commission on Freedom, Chicago School & Social Responsibility Theory
7 Civic Journalism, Development Media Theory & Democratic Participant Theory
Quiz No.1
8 Limitations of the Press Theory
9 McQuail's four kinds of theories
10 Propaganda Theories
11 Paradigm Shift & Two-step Flow of Information
12 Middle Range Theories
13 Klapper's Phenomenistic Theory
14 Diffusion of Innovation Theory
15 Challenging the Dominant Paradigm
Assignment 1
16 Social Cognitive Theory
17 Modeling from Mass Media
Quiz No.2
18 Priming Effect
19 Cultivation of Perceptions of Social Reality
20 Systems Theories of Communication Processes
21 Emergence of Critical and Cultural Theories of Mass Communication
22 Recap
Mid-Semester Exams
23 Critical Theories & Role of Mass Media in Society - The Mediation of Social Relations
24 Role of Mass Media in Social Order & Marxist Theory
25 Key Priniciples Used in Marxism
Quiz No.3
26 Consumer Society
27 Communication and Culture
28 Hegemony
29 Culture Industry
30 Political Economic Theory (I)
31 Political Economic Theory (II)
32 Political Economic Theory (III)
Quiz No.4
33 Agenda Setting Theory
34 Framing and Spiral of Silence
35 Spiral of Silence
Graded Discussion Board
36 Marshal McLuhan: The medium is the message and the massage
37 Knowledge Gap Theory
38 Media System Dependency Theory
39 Uses and Gratifications Theory
40 Reception Theory
41 Framing and Frame Analysis
42 Trends in Mass Communication (I)
43 Trends in Mass Communication (II)
44 Globalization and Media
45 Revision
Final Term Exams