Per our final class, I promised I'd post the Ferguson-etc.-related discussion materials here ...
The two explainers I sent out provide good basic background on the situation in Ferguson, Mo., and the case of Eric Garner in New York.
Here are the New York Times videos reporting from Ferguson after Michael Brown's shooting. As you watch, experience the videos as objects of communication — pay attention to the information being reported, of course, but also what information is highlighted, what is left out, what frames are being selected (both literal, in terms of camera positioning, and theoretical, in terms of Gitlin and Schudson), the music being used, etc.
Participation! Consider: No reporter is seen or speaks in the above video. Does that mean it is unbiased? What factors does Schudson outline that contribute to bias, and where might they be present here?
Participation! Toward the beginning, the man with the sign reading "Propaganda: It Won’t Be Televised — Pay Attention" — he looks at the reporter filming him and adds, "I know you seen it, tell the truth, tell the truth!" What truth, and why does he believe it is not getting out by other means? Relate his expression about propaganda to the readings that addressed earlier propaganda fears.
— Pay attention to the discussion here about the original choice of Michael Brown photo used and picked up by the news media. What frames are at work there, and how? How does this relate to Schudson's explanation of selection?
— Think about the reporter's final comments. What photos of you or other information about you is out there on social media that could be similarly misconstrued?
Of course, I have to end things with some pop music ...
Despite the electronic management of the course thus far — with assignments delivered and returned via email — university policy forbids me from returning papers containing final course progress grades (project, participation, journals), unless students sign and return a form called a Buckley waiver. (I can only deliver progress grades, not final course grades.)
If you want your part 3 (revised or not) containing these final progress grades returned via email (to your ucsd.edu account only), please fill out and submit the form below.
Deadline: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17
Three documents below, available to download, should give you some guidance for the third part of the class project:
1. Continuing with the previous student's example paper, the model part 3 is posted here. This copy is annotated — I've highlighted some of the main parts your paper must include, which we'll elaborate on in section:
— Statement of your research questions
— Explanation of why these questions are important, and who else has
been asking them (and how)
— What data will answer your questions
— How you intend to obtain that data
2. Given that I recently wrote a research proposal myself, I'm posting it here, too. Note the way this is formatted, with labels for each paragraph ("research question," "hypothesis," "related work," etc.); I am perfectly fine with you utilizing this format, if it makes it easier to get your head around the components of a research proposal. (You would not need to include "theoretical contributions" or "risks," unless you had them ready in mind.)
3. Lastly, here is the short list of research methods compiled by Prof. Goldfarb:
I also recommend these books, excellent guides to conceiving of and conducting communication research:
— Rubin, R.B., Rubin, A.M., Haridakis, P.M., & Piele, L.J. (2010). Communication Research: Strategies and Sources. Boston: Wadsworth
— Babbie, E. (2007). The Practice of Social Research. Boston: Wadsworth
Geisel has several copies of the Babbie and a couple copies of the Rubin, all available..
Check out this short video posted just days before our discussion of Adorno & Horkheimer and their hand-wringing about pop music. The video presents information A&H would be down with, claiming that pop music is endlessly repetitive. The kicker, though, is that this mind-numbing repetition is not the direct work of our capitalist overlords — it's our own fault. Well, our own choice.
Participation! Consider the consumer choice discussed in this video's claims. How free are we to choose? How has Internet data illuminated this? And what would Adorko & Jerkheimer say about this: are our choices really our own?
Following up on our last section in-class activity, posted below is a document containing the text of both the Wall Street Journal story and the New York Times story about the bank hacking. This is an excellent example of framing — neither story lies, but each definitely shows a particular bias and tells a different story for a different readership.
Participation! In the comments here, add your deductions from in-class discussion groups about what makes these stories different and — specifically — how (show the evidence!).
The PBS series "Frontline" produced a typically insightful program about many of the issues we read about last week. It's called "Generation Like" — yes, that's meant to be you — and it explores the various dimensions of participatory culture, from how it affects celebrity to how media consumption itself changes.
Watch the full episode here.
Here are a few snippets ...
Below you may download part 2 of a former student's project paper.
Again, this is a paper that scored well — though it has significant room for improvement, too. We'll discuss the edited version of this later in class.
Use this paper as a good example of using the denotative and connotative description from part 1 as examples for an analysis of the communication at work in your object. Note how the student incorporated readings from the syllabus and others.
Check out the first 2:30 of this interview with Dave Stewart — one half of the Eurhythmics in the ’80s (whose biggest hit, the lyrics and the video, could be read as a commentary on this very dualism) and a prominent songwriter since — and his discussion of the line between art and commerce ...
Participation! Stewart here discusses art and commerce as a linear progression — creativity begins as art and then later is transformed into commerce by certain needs. Do you agree with this model? What are some examples of different ways of conceptualizing this binary and its development? Can you think of objects/experiences that began as commerce and later became art?
The art vs. commerce binary discussed in the Gray chapter is a cultural dilemma almost as old as cave paintings. In my professional work as a pop music critic, I wrestled daily with walking the tightrope between addressing and critiquing the artistic elements in a recording or concert experience, and advising the consumer on whether the product or experience was worth shelling out money for.
FWIW, in the academic side of my work, I've addressed this binary in two different journal articles ...
Here are two videos I intended to show during class this week, but we ran out of time ...
These are segments from a stand-up comedy show by comedian Margaret Cho, discussing race from a similar point of view to the characters you encountered in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club. Cho's parents came to America from South Korea, and in these segments you'll hear many of the same issues Tan illustrated, such as assumption based on race and the power dynamics between mothers and their first-generation American-born daughters.
Still fishing for an object analysis to study in the COMM 10 project?
Check out this page, part of the UCSD library guides! The two columns feature links to available video and image databases, free for the plundering.
Search topics that interest and/or intrigue you, then see if any results meet the criteria for analysis here — or in some other class project.
The above song, a one-hit wonder from 1971, is a particularly historically and culturally situated lyrical consideration of signs — in the denotative sense, surely (actual posts and placards containing written messages) but also in various connotative senses.
Semiotics, as outlined in the Danesi reading, can be a lot to get your head around. If you'd like more in-depth background on signs, codes, texts, and more, look to this excellent primer, "Semiotics for Beginners," particularly parts 1, 2, 7, and 9.
Participation! Consider this image below, indicating the appropriate gender of restroom facilities. Does it look more like a man than a woman? Why? What is indexed? What is symbolized?
Check out this interesting article, which nicely follows up our class discussions last week about the evolution of language. "Folks" — a word that somehow transitioned from "us" to "them"!
Participation! Try looking up the word in the OED, via the library database links here, and see what history they show for the word. Use the comments here to post any results/thoughts.
Below you can read/download a model, A-grade paper from a student in the course from a previous term.
Those of you who had questions about the formatting, this should make very clear how to set that up: text for the intro, then a two-column table for the denotative vs. connotative descriptions. (Never made a table or used columns in Word before? It's easy.)
Pay attention to how this student telescoped the denotative elements into connotative possibilities — and remember that Dr. Goldfarb in class said he thought this paper actually could have used more connotations.
Remember: Part 1 of the project is due in the section meeting of week four.
We'll talk next week about some strategies for reading effectively — and taking notes about what you read (very important to do!).
For now, check out these excellent tips for "How to Read in College."
Participation! Use the comments here to post helpful examples and tips from your reading process, things you've learned by experience thus far. Feel free to include screenshots of annotated pages, notes, etc.
"The Story of Mike Phillips," an episode of "This American Life":
Feel free to use the comments section here to answer Dr. Goldfarb's questions about how the issues raised in this video reflect on the challenges and changes in recent developments within communication, particularly from the POV of the UCSD's comm dept. (situated practices, social formations, and interpretive strategies) ...