Courses

Special Topics Communication Courses 

160AA-ZZ. Special Topics in Communication? Investigation of current theory and research in a selected area of communication. Variable topics in media, interpersonal or organizational communication, depending on the instructor.

160B.  Mass Media Business (Potter) This course examines the mass media from an economic and business perspective. We focus on how media companies make money, how the companies are valued, and how investors regard them in the stock market. Students apply what they learn in a stock market simulation where they try to make money by buying and selling stocks of media companies

Comm 160CL.  Culture and Language (M. Curtin) This course explores the dynamic relationship between language, culture and society.  We will begin with a general overview of (1) what constitutes language and (2) what is culture, and then (3) turn to examining different hypotheses regarding the relationship between the two.  Drawing from the fields of communication studies and linguistics (anthropological and sociocultural), we will consider the role of language use in constructing different worldviews, cultural values, social relationships, institutional orders, places and identities. Topics include: common myths about language; the role of language in performing our social and cultural identities; the use of language to create and maintain social institutions and rituals (both formal and everyday); the relationship between language and cultural maintenance (language loss and revitalization); languacultural constructions of the environment; and language in a globalizing world.  Overall, this course will encourage students to reflect critically about the relations between language, social and cultural practices, and power.

Comm 160PF. Political Communication and the Feature Film (M. Stohl) Most of us look upon films as entertainment but film may also be a powerful way to convey political messages and be a revealing portrait of the political culture. They thus function as both an art form and (as with all media) and also as a means of political socialization by transmitting cultural values and questions.  Through their narrative and action, films explore the myths, perceptions, and reality of the relationships between individuals and the most powerful social institutions - governments and corporations.  Films, like political books, show "real" people responding to problems or pursuing a course of action.  They address political dilemmas and often help set the public agenda and frame the discussion of "answers" about social and political issues.  The course this year will examine how journalists and journalism are portrayed in popular fiction and film.  We will do this by viewing a series of full-length feature films that depict the changes in journalism and journalists and the role of news in the political process from the 1930s to the present.   We will then analyze and discuss not only the issues that these films raise but also the current state of the news media.

Comm 160SC.  Public Health Campaigns (F12, S13-Thai) As illnesses inflicting the population in the US continue to shift towards life-style related diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, campaigns designed to impact behavioral changes among the population are becoming increasingly important. The focus of our health care needs to shift from curative, medical care to preventive public health care.  This course will provide an overview of public health campaigns: what they are, how they are used, and how to design one based on sound evidence and theory.  To achieve this, students will be exposed to lectures and read articles and chapters on public health, health behavior change theories, and case studies about public health campaigns that address a variety of health behaviors.  Using the knowledge gained from these course materials, students will work in groups to design and implement a small scale public health campaign targeting UCSB students that addresses a health issue of their choice.  The campaign will be developed through the course of the quarter and groups will be asked to submit smaller assignments along the way to build towards their final product.


175AA-ZZ. Senior Capstone in Communication ?A project-based course in a specific topic area of communication designed to give students a chance to apply the skills and knowledge learned in the major and the opportunity to work intensively in groups on a real world project.

175AD.  Advertising (Potter) As a capstone course, this experience will require you to apply all the skills you have learned as a communication major -- research, team building, leadership, persuasion, making oral presentations, and writing reports. This capstone course experience will attempt to simulate a real world experience of creating and running an advertising agency.   You will be randomly assigned to a group. The first task of each group will be to transform itself into a full service advertising agency. Throughout the remainder of the course, agencies will make pitches to compete for the business of a real world client that will be assigned to agencies.

175FM.  Family Communication to Community-Based problems (T. Afifi) The purpose of this capstone course is to advance and apply students' understanding of the family communication processes they already learned in Family Communication 124.  Students will take what they learned in Communication 124 and apply it to real life situations or community-based problems.  For example, working in groups, students may go out into the community and interview families that have experienced domestic violence, are attempting to balance work and family, have just given birth to a baby, have lost a parent or child, are recovering from addiction, or are struggling financially.   They will examine theories and research in class and apply this knowledge to families in the community.  Students must have already taken Communication 124 to enroll in this capstone course.

175IP.  Interpersonal Communication; Applying Theories to Social Problems at UCSB (W. Afifi) This advanced course is designed to apply interpersonal theories and principles to socially-important problems. Students of the course will vote on 1-2 socially-important topics for which they would like to develop a campus campaign. Past classes have developed campaigns on the illicit use of Adderrall, safe-sex, domestic violence, and club drugs. The course is structured so that we learn about these problems in more depth, then apply theories to the development of a campaign that runs at the end of the quarter. The course will assume active participation and high interest among enrolled students. It will also require internally motivated students willing to work in groups and do what's necessary to develop and complete a multi-day on-campus campaign.

175LE.  Law Enforcement & Communication (Giles) This course is to engender an appreciation amongst students of the crucial values of policing in general - and its particular unique features locally - as well as instill in them an understanding of the complexities and challenges of law enforcement and the critical roles of communication within that.  This innovative class will be guest instructed, in the main, by Officers from the SBPD who have specialist interests in, and experience of, the topics covered by them.*  Note as field experience, students will be expected to go along on a shift’s ride along with a police officer (ideally Thurs/Fri/Sat evening/night).  For this, students will need to complete a waiver (which will involve a brief background check; i.e., felonists cannot participate in ride alongs).

175MT.  Mass Comm Theory (Mastro) This courser is designed to familiarize you with the prominent social scientific theories of mass communication.  We will address the development of media theories from their early stages to the contemporary models.  Particular emphasis will be places on the most notable theories.  Upon completion of the course, you should have an extensive understanding of how theory and empirical research can be used to explain the influence of media on individuals and society and how the social effects of the mass media are studied.

175NG.  Negotiation (Putnam) This course explores the role of communication in negotiation.  It specifically examines strategies and tactics used in salary negotiations, buying and selling products, team bargaining, and international negotiations.  It also examines the role of relationships, emotions, and ethics in this type of conflict management.  As a capstone course, students will be involved in class exercises and simulations.  

175PF.  Political Communication & the Feature Film  (M. Stohl)  Most of us look upon films as entertainment but film may also be a powerful way to convey political messages and a revealing portrait of the political culture. They thus function as both an art form and (as with all media) also as a means of political socialization by transmitting cultural values and questions.  Through their narrative and action, films explore the myths, perceptions, and reality of the relationships between individuals and the most powerful social institutions - governments and corporations.  Films, like political books, show "real" people responding to problems or pursuing a course of action.  They address political dilemmas and often help set the public agenda and frame the discussion of "answers" about social and political issues.  The course will examine the ways that concepts and theories of government and politics are illustrated in popular fiction and film.  We will do this by viewing a series of full-length feature films that depict major issues spanning the period from the 1920s to the present.  We will then analyze and discuss not only the issues that these films raise but how (and how well) the filmmaker uses the medium to influence the audience and the political choices that may be possible.

Comm 175SC.  Sports, Culture, & Communication (Giles) Sports issues have become a burgeoning area in the discipline of Communication in the last 5 years or so.  This course will allow us to explore together the ways in which sports has become an integral part of our (and other) cultures and the variable roles of communication within that. Integral to our readings and discussions will be: parent-child-coach dynamics; gender, race, national, organizational, and intergenerational issues; and the ways different media report on and construct our views of various sports and their relationships to society.  Attention will be afforded particular sports in which students have or are involving themselves, together with field and analytical observations of a couple of engaging sporting events.  Ultimately, we will move to constructing a new applied communication model of sports and leisure practices.

175SX.  Sex, Censorship, & Judiciary (Linz) This course is an in-depth look at one area of Communication and mass media- effects Communication about sex and law regulating sexual depictions Communication about sex and law regulating sexual depictions and messages.  We will explore the effects of exposure to sex messages on attitudes cognitions and behavior as well as the effects of pornography on personal relationships.  We will also explore the philosophical principles, theories and methods of media law applied to restricting these messages in American society.  Special attention will be paid to obscenity law and recent Supreme Court decisions regarding the regulation of sex in the community and sex depictions on the Internet.

175WA.  Uncertainty in the Lives of Immigrant Families (W. Afifi) This course will review research on uncertainty, with a focus on applying it to understanding the experience of immigrant families in the United States -- either war-related refugees or undocumented immigrants. The goal will be to extend our understanding of the chronic uncertainty experience and immigrant families' experience therein through (a) an analysis of the research literature, (b) the completion of interviews with immigrant families, and (c) the raising of awareness to these issues within our communities.