Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies
Cultural Identities in The Media
This course explores the concepts of identity from multiple disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, gender studies, and critical race theories, and then focuses on the role mass media plays in the construction of cultural identity. Students will investigate both the macro and micro levels of the interaction of media and identities. At the macro level, we will look at how media reflect, perpetuate, and reinforce (but also challenge) social forces such as economics, politics, and laws concerning the social categories (such as race, gender, class, and sexuality) that affect individuals. Using theories and empirical research from audience reception, we will also examine, at the micro level, how audiences interpret, appropriate, and incorporate media representations in their construction of self. Students will study key notions and theories of cultural identities and develop a nuanced understanding of media influence, particularly the tension between media hegemony and personal agency.