MED 502 Medya Kuramı II


MED 502

Media Theory II

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Halil Nalçaoğlu (Santral E4-107; (212) 311 7716;; office hours: Tuesday 14:00-17:00, Wednesday 14:00-15:00)

Course Title: MED 502 MEDIA THEORY II


This course as a whole (MED 501 & 502) aims to survey major theories of media and mediated communication. It will cover readings from a wide range of approaches from effects research to media ecology, from gender theories to theories of audience and political communication as well as on a wide network of fundamental concepts that can be found underneath such theories. MED 501 and MED 502, however, will have different emphases.

MED 501 is designed as a course in which fundamental conceptual ground for a media theories course will be set. Therefore, in the first semester we are going to deal with a number of major concepts that underlie contemporary communication theories and approaches. Concepts do not stand alone in vacuum. They are integrated into a larger theoretical frame and are designed to solve real problems. In this respect, in the first semester, we will try to locate a number of concepts into a larger set of theories. Also, we will try to understand what real needs and problems do these concepts address. As for the latter goal, we will be “contextualizing” the conceptual frame with concrete cases from Turkey and the world.

The structure of the course comprises a number of “modules” each of which will be taught by different instructors. Each module will be built around a concept and last two to four weeks.

Objectives and Learning Goals:

The main objective of the course is to provide an overview of these theories in order to facilitate an understanding that research, including the “thesis research” requires a solid conceptual backing. By succesfully completing the course (MED 502) the students will be able to

  • have a general grasp of the epistemology of social sciences and major epistemological concepts;
  • understand and correctly use concepts like interaction, signification, identity, representation, medium, and social change;
  • locate these concepts (and some others) in the correct theoretical frameworks;
  • write argumentative academic papers with proper academic style;
  • analyse concrete situations by using proper conceptual scheme.

Required (and Supplementary) Texts and Readings:

Please see the weekly modules below.

Response Papers:

What is a “Response Paper”? A RP is one-two pages-long reflection on the module’s readings. As its name imply, it should be your “response” to the readings, not a summary of them. The students are not required to respond to all of the readings assigned for the bi-weekly topics but must deal at least with one of them. Anybody who wishes to go beyond that is more than welcome. The important thing is that RPs are oral assignments as much as written. Please bring in the class whatever you have in the name of response and responsibility, so that we have fun.

Grading and Assessment:

Assessment will be done over two term papers and five response papers (each 5 points, 25%), minumum 1,500 words each excluding bibliography. The students are expected to choose two of the five modules and write their papers either on the discussion questions to be given by the instructor of the module or on a topic (relevant to the theme of the module) of their own choice. Each paper will be graded over 30/60.

Papers will be written according to MLA style, Times New Roman 12 font, double spaced, with a cover page indicating the course’s  name, module theme, the student name, student id number, and module instructor’s name.

Papers are due by the end of the semester following “tutorial week” (see weekly schedule below). Exact due dates will be announced.

Attendance and participation will be calculated as 15% of the final grade.

Calendar and Readings:

Spring Semester 2010

Week Topic and Readings
Week 1

Feb. 16, 2010

Introduction and logistics of the course.
Module I

Audience: In Quest for Multiple Realities, Multiple Methods by Aslı Tunç

Week 2

Feb. 23, 2010

RP1 Due

There is a wide range of media theories about the audience’s role in any kind of mediated communication. This module will aim to shed a light on the relationship between the media and their audiences by discussing those mass communication theories such as effects models, two-step flow, uses and gratifications approach, and reception (encoding/decoding model).


2-     Ruddock, Andy (2001). Understanding Audiences: Theory and Method (e-book) Chapter 2: Media Effects (pp. 37-71)

3-    Hall, Stuart. (2001). “Encoding/Decoding” in Media and Cultural Studies Keyworks (M.G. Durham, D.M. Kellner (eds.), Blackwell.

Module II

Media Culture by Erkan Saka / Halil Nalçaoğlu

Week 3

Mar. 2, 2010

This module focuses on changes in cultural conceptualizations of mediated communications. It overviews transitions from Frankfurt School to computer mediated media.

Bignell, Jonathan. 2000 “Theoretical discourses: Subjects and Objects” in Postmodern Media Cultures. Edinburgh University Press.

Week 4

Mar. 9, 2010

Bignell, Jonathan. 2000 “Theoretical discourses: Subjects and Objects” in Postmodern Media Cultures. Edinburgh University Press.
Week 5

Mar. 16, 2010

RP2 Due

Bignell, Jonathan. 2000 “Computer based media” in Postmodern Media Cultures. Edinburgh University Press.
Module III

Politics by Karen Ross

Week 6

Mar. 23, 2010

Politics and new media: political use of new media and citizen journalism/blogs

Politics by Aslı Tunç

Week 7

Mar. 30, 2010

RP3 Due

This module examines the way in which modern mass media have altered the dynamics of democratic politics around the world and in Turkey. Specific topics include the role of media in a democracy, the role of the media in campaigns and elections, how the news influences our political attitudes and behaviors.

Political Economy Perspectives on the Mass Media

Higgins, Michael (2008). “The Construction of the Political Public,” in Media and Their Publics, Open University Press, pp. 18-33. (e-book)

“Who Owns What?” Columbia Journalism Review:

Media, Political Campaigns and Elections

News, Public Opinion, and Agenda Setting

Croteau, D. And Hoynes, W. (1997). Media/Society: Industries, Images, and Audiences, pp.33-96.

Module IV

Journalism by Esra Arsan

Week 8

Apr. 13, 2010

This module aims to provide students a preliminary guide to the central concepts of journalism studies. First we will take a look at the history of journalism and then try to identify and  analize today’s journalistic practices.

“A Short History of Journalism for Journalists: A Proposal and Essay”, James W. Carey, The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 2007; 12; 3.

Week 9

Apr. 20, 2010

RP4 Due

Journalism Studies is the multidisciplinary study of journalism as an arena of professional practice and a subject focus for intellectual and academic inquiry (Franklin, Hanna, Kinsey, Hamer, Richardson; 2005).  How is this field of journalism studies to be understood? What parameters define its limits? How does this fledgling discipline connect to the concerns of other arts and social science subjects such as media studies and sociology?

“What is journalism? Professional identity and ideology of journalists reconsidered”, Mark Deuze, Journalism 2005; 6; 442                 

Week 10

Apr. 27, 2010

Prof. Orhan Tekellioğlu

(Apr. 26  Withdrawal Deadline)

Module V

Policy/Regulations by Haluk Şahin

Week 11

May 4, 2010

RP5 Due

The evolution of the concept of media regulation and its concequences for media policy – the media and democracy.

Kejanlıoğlu, B. et al., “Medya Politikaları”, İmge Kitabevi, 2001.

Week 12

May 11, 2010

Roundtable Discussion
Week 13

May 18, 2010

Tutorial Week for Term Papers

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