The Newhouse School offers courses that explore issues of diversity in various media and types of media content, as well as courses that explore concepts of identity, stereotypes, racism, misogyny and other issues.
COM 346: Race, Gender and the Media
Voted by the faculty to be a required course for all Newhouse undergrads, this popular, three-credit course focuses on the interaction between media industries, media content and audiences on the construction of and the effects on perceptions of social identity and difference. Much broader than the title suggests, this course explores race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, gender identity, class, religion and disability. Because effective public communication depends on knowing and understanding one’s audience, this course is designed to expose students to a variety of issues concerning the media. Throughout the class, students discuss the social psychology of difference, the media’s portrayal of specific groups, the relationship between media images, and what all of this means for media production. The course is devoted to learning theoretical tools to apply to identity issues in the media, gender, racial, and religious diversity. A goal of the course is for students to gain an awareness of the validity of differing perspectives to become more ethical and inclusive media producers.
COM 344: Diversity and Hip Hop
In the 1970s, Hip hop emerged from the Bronx as a music genre but grew into a cultural movement. While some reduce hip hop to just a music genre, others view it as a cultural movement. It has been used for political, educational, social, cultural and economic artistic expression. As a result, hip-hop music reflects and influences the way that many college students view politics, education, capitalism, racial stereotypes, and gender roles. This one-hour course will combine theory, multimedia analysis, critical readings and student-led discussions. We will examine, discuss and learn about hip-hop as a cultural movement, a voice, a controversial topic, a stereotyped genre, and a global influence.
COM 344: Diversity and the Disney Princesses
The ability of students to be able to define the concepts of social identity, ideology, hegemony, commodification, and to understand and explain the role of the media in constructing, disseminating, and challenging various social identities of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and disability, and to explain the psychological processes of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination are goals of this five-week course. Because cultural products, such as Disney films, can reflect as well as shape social expectations and norms, they are worthy of serious consideration and study. In this course, students examine the depiction of the roles of women and men, the concepts of beauty and body image, the portrayal of social classes and money, as well as examine the way Disney has begun to introduce race and sexual orientation into the contemporary films.
COM 344: Diversity in Sports Media
Diversity is more than a buzzword or the basis for an ABC sitcom. Diversity, or the increasing contact between people of different backgrounds, life experiences, and identities, is a feature of both our present day and our future. The diversity of the American population is increasing dramatically, and this has implications for sports. These implications include the number of women outpacing men in college attendance and graduation rates, marginalization of LGBTQ athletes, lack of women and people of color in coaching roles and penalties for those who visibly advocate for social justice issues. These are issues that should be of interest to all Newhouse students but particularly for those interested in sport and sports media. This course examines how sports media function to define and shape the national, ethnic and gender identities of athletes and fans.
COM 344: Diversity in the Music Biz
Popular culture—and in this class’ context, the popular music that is consumed—plays a substantial role in determining societal standards. But who plays a substantial role in determining what culture becomes popular? And what does their identity have to do with the decisions they make? This class is for students planning to work in the music industry, or just those with an interest in the decision-making that led to your favorite songs and artists’ careers. We will study and discuss historical perspectives and concepts of hegemony. And we will apply these learnings to case studies that identify both troublesome and best practices in diverse media and the music business. This will help you to think critically about the music you and those around you consume, and about your eventual role and opportunity in the professional realm, be that working in music, media or other industries.
COM 344: Netflix Narratives and Diversity
Diversity is of special interest to Newhouse students; regardless of your area of interest, you will work with, communicate with, and serve people from a variety of backgrounds. Eﬀective public communication depends on knowing and understanding your audience, which means knowing and understanding histories and cultures that you may be unfamiliar with. This course is an introduction of fundamental issues of diversity that confront media workers and audiences designed to expose you to a wide variety of issues concerning the media and “categories of difference.” We will discuss roles, obligations, stereotypes, ownership of media in a multicultural society, as well as the connections between human psychology and the media’s portrayal of specific groups to explicate the impact of media, social power, and what this means for increasingly powerful streaming companies like Netflix.
COM 344: News Industry and Diversity
Diversity is of special interest to Newhouse students; regardless of your area of interest, you will work with, communicate with, and serve people from a variety of backgrounds. Eﬀective public communication depends on knowing and understanding your audience, which means knowing and understanding histories and cultures that you may be unfamiliar with. This course is an introduction of fundamental issues of diversity that confront media workers and audiences designed to expose you to a wide variety of issues concerning the media and “categories of diﬀerence.” We will discuss roles, obligations, stereotypes, ownership of media in a multicultural society, as well as the connections between human psychology and the media’s portrayal of speciﬁc groups to explicate the impact of media, social power, and what this means for the news media industry and the audience.
COM 348: Beauty and Diversity in Fashion Media
This course aims to give students an understanding of the various types of fashion media, from the traditional to the emerging media, and the critical issues that surround the portrayal of appearance in these various publications and outlets. Accepting the premise that fashion is, at least for large numbers of people, one of the cornerstones of modern identity, this class will help students gain a greater awareness of the issues that arise in the fashion industry and the messages that it communicates to the public through its associated media outlets. Using theory, critical analysis, historical perspectives, and current examples, students will be asked to explore: the concept of beauty, politics of appearance, construction/presentation of self, communications power of clothing, impact of media on body image, and other topics related to fashion media and their expression, or lack thereof, of varied and diverse groups in a global society. Given the course focus and limitation of time, the class will focus its attention on modern identity and a contemporary context among diverse groups.