Dear Students,

You can view the syllabus for Mass Communication course for Fall 2017/2018 term in the post below.

Please download the course reader in the following link:


Mass Communication


Marmara University, Department of Sociology Fall 2017/2018


Dr. Alparslan Nas (

Date & Time, Location

Wednesday 14.00 – 16.50, GZFA.501

Course Description

This course aims to provide the students with the necessary theoretical tools by which they can understand the means and the processes of communication in contemporary society. For this purpose, the syllabus is organized as a collection of main texts and essays that carefully locate different trends and traditions in the field of communication studies. The course material includes the classical theories of communication, structuralism, semiotics, post-structuralism, neo-Marxism, cultural studies, gender, media ecology, media effects, postmodernism and the theories of the digital age.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course;

  • The students will have sufficient knowledge regarding the basic theoretical approaches and contemporary discussions in the field of communication.
  • The students will be able to discuss and raise critical questions regarding the processes of communication, particular by applying those theories to the national and local contexts.
  • The students will be equipped with the necessary theoretical background which will help them pursue further studies in the field of sociology and social sciences in general.


There will be a midterm exam (50%) and a final exam (50%). Students’ participation is highly encouraged. Students who follow the classes regularly will be awarded extra points in midterm and final exam grades. 


The course reader is available in PDF format and will be distributed to students via BYS system. Students are expected to check their emails regularly.

The course reader and the syllabus will also be available online at Please check the blog regularly for announcements regarding the course.

Classroom Policies

Students are expected to be present on time by the beginning hour of the classroom. If you are late, please enter the classroom quietly without disturbing others and find yourself a suitable seating, trying your best not to cause discomfort.

Students are highly encouraged to participate to class discussions and freely express their opinions. Any kinds of hate speech will not be tolerated.


Students with disabilities can contact “Students with Disabilities Unit” at and visit the website for further information. Please feel free to contact me regarding the necessary information on how to fulfill the requirements of the course.


Please send an email to for your inquiries.

Course Schedule

Week 1 / Sep 13: Introduction to the Course

Week 2 / Sep 20: The Theory of Structuralism & Semiotics

Excerpts from, Ferdinand de Saussure (1966) [1916], Course in General Linguistics, New York: McGraw-Hill, pp. 6-17, 65-79.

Excerpts from, Roland Barthes (1957), Mythologies, New York: The Noonday Press.

Week 3 / Sep 27: Neo-Marxist Reflections and the Culture Industry

Jere Paul Surber (1998), “The Materialist Critique of Culture”, in Culture and Critique: An Introduction to the Critical Discourses of Cultural Studies. Boulder: Westview Press, 1998, pp. 67-94.

Theodor Adorno & Max Horkheimer (2002) [1944], “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” in Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments, Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp. 94-136.

Week 4 / Oct 4: Mass Communication: Cultural Studies Perspective

Stuart Hall (1999) [1973], “Encoding/Decoding” in The Cultural Studies Reader (ed. Simon During), London & New York: Routledge, pp. 507-517.

Raymond Williams, (1999) [1961] “Advertising: The Magic System”, in Cultural Studies Reader (Ed. Simon During), London & New York: Routledge, pp. 410-423.

Excerpts from, “Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman”, (eds. Paul Du Gay, Stuart Hall, et al.), 1997, London: Sage.

Week 5 / Oct 11: Post-Structuralism and Mass Communication

Michel Foucault (2008) [1977] “Panopticism” from Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts, Vol. 2, No. 1, (Autumn, 2008), pp. 1-12;

Michel Foucault (1982), “The Subject and Power”, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 8, No. 4, (Summer 1982), pp. 777-795.

Week 6 / Oct 18: Gendered Dynamics of Mass Communication

Rosalind Gill (2011), “Introduction” & “Chapter 1: Gender and the Media”, in Gender and the Media, Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 1-41.

Asuman Suner (2010), “The Absent Women of New Turkish Cinema” in New Turkish Cinema: Belonging, Identity and Memory. IB Tauris, pp. 163-180.

Week 7 / Oct 25: Review Class before Midterm Exam


Week 8 / Nov 15: Assessment of midterm questions & results

Week 9 / Nov 22: The Theory of Media Ecology

Marshall McLuhan (1994) [1964], “The Medium is the Message” & “Media Hot and Cold”, in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Men, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, pp. 7-32.

Week 10 / Nov 29: Theorizing Media Effects

James Shanahan & Michael Morgan (2004), “Foreword by George Gerbner” & “Chapter 1: Origins” in Television and its Viewers: Cultivation Theory and Research, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. ix-41.

Week 11 / Dec 6: The Theory of Simulation

Excerpts from, Jean Baudrillard (1988), Selected Writings (ed. Mark Poster), Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp.166-184.

Week 12 / Dec 13: Theories of New Media and Information Society

Nicholas Stevenson (2002), “New Media and the Information Society: Schiller, Castells, Virilio and Cyberfeminism” in Understanding Media Cultures: Social Theory and Mass Communication, London: Sage, pp. 184-215.

Week 13 / Dec 20: Postcolonialism and Mass Communication

Excerpts from Edward Said (1978), Orientalism. London: Routledge.

Excerpts from Edward Said (1981), Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. New York: Vintage Books.