Media China: Social Control vs. Social Change

Media China: Social Control vs. Social Change

Winter 2014
Zhejiang University


Prof. WEI Lu

College of Media and International Culture
Research Area:The adoption, use and social impacts of new media technologies

Course Description


This course examines the interaction of media and society in China. It provides an overview of major theories and perspectives on the social shaping and consequences of Chinese media. Topics range from the development of print, electronic, and digital media, to the political and cultural implications of journalism and communication in China. The main goal of the course is to help students understand the social control and social change dynamics between Chinese media and other social institutions.

Course Objectives

As a result of this course, you will be able to:
1.Learn about the concepts and theories of media and society;
2.Acquire basic knowledge of contemporary Chinese media institutions;
3.Reach a critical understanding of how Chinese media reinforce social control and promote social change.
Course Requirements

1. Attendance. As required by MCS. (10%)
2. Completion of 2 critical reviews. You should pick up one article from each week’s readings and write a critical review (single spaced, 1-2 pages). Each review should consist of (1) a summary of the article, (2) strengths and weaknesses of the research, and (3) One open question and/or idea(s) for future research. Critical reviews are due at the beginning of the class. (60%)
3. Co-leading one discussion session. Each class meeting is divided into two parts. The first is my

lecture that provides an overview of that week’s topic. The second is a discussion about the readings co-led by students. Based on one of your critical reviews, you are expected to co-lead a class discussion with your classmates. For your session, you will give a brief presentation summarizing the main arguments from your assigned reading and providing an overview of common themes in that week’s readings. You should work out a list of approximately 2 analytic and open-ended discussion questions covering your reading (e.g., contrasting different perspectives, analyzing underlying assumptions, adding new factors or variables, etc.). Following your presentation, you will facilitate the class discussion and encourage participation by other students. A comparative discussion between China and your country regarding the topic is particularly valued. Students will sign up to lead class discussion in Week 1. (30%)



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