COMM7900 Media Convergence: Theory and Practice (3 units)
- Medium of Instruction:
- English or Putonghua
Media convergence is a relatively new phenomenon in the evolution of communication technology. Similar to other forms of modern-day information dissemination, media convergence is not merely a phase in technological advancement. Rather, it is immersed in cultural, social and political reality in people's immediate life space. Optimists and technological-determinists believe that the advanced technologies will transform the society and empower individuals in the democratic process. Yet, both critical scholars and empirical researchers contend that technology is the main source of new problems such as digital divide rather than a solution to social inequality. This course traces the trajectory of media convergence and reflects on its profound impact on the everyday life of the self, media industries, political systems, and academic research. The main micro- and macro-theoretical concepts include: multiplicity in social media self-presentation, pseudo-community, interactivity, multi-mediality and cyber identity, platformization and regulation, new news value and media routines, online materiality, the network society, digital labor and digital divide.
We invite students to ponder the theoretical, historical, industrial, and technological meanings of media convergence. Lectures and discussions on relevant theories will be contextualized in real-world situations and cases in China and elsewhere. Through individual and group projects, students will be able to use different perspectives to critically analyze new media and convergence phenomena. Students who choose this course will learn how values and norms of digital media create, collide, change and challenge industry practices and how traditional and new media respond to the transition of media ecology.
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