theories

Structural and functional theories attempt to assess social structures by objective observations;

•Cognitive and behavioral theories focus on individual psychology;

•Interactionist theories take a process-oriented view on social life;

•Interpretive theories address how people come to understand their own existence; and

•Critical theories are concerned with the conflict of interests in society and the way communication perpetuates domination by elites.

For this assignment, you will select and investigate a mass communication theory and create an annotated bibliography. To learn about annotated bibliographies, consult UMUC’s tutorial.

Before you begin, you may want to familiarize yourself with some of the mass communication theories by taking a look at the list of theories posted in our LEO classroom and by paging through the Encyclopedia of Communication Theory, edited by Littlejohn & Foss, available through our classroom’s webliography.

Then, please follow these steps carefully:

1. Go to the COMM 302 resources at http://libguides.umuc.edu/comm302, or go directly to the UMUC Library at http://www.umuc.edu/library/library.html and click on “Search by Subject.”

2. Take a look around the UMUC Subject Guide to familiarize yourself with the kinds of topics being investigated in the mass communication field.

3. Choose a mass communication theory or set of theories that you have found interesting in your reading for this course from among the following:

•Media and society theories: Information/Innovation Diffusion Theory (Rogers), Agenda-setting (Shaw, (McCombs), Framing, Priming, Media System Dependency, Knowledge Gap, Symbolic Convergence, and Media Intrusion Theory.

•Audience theories: Uses and Gratifications, Reception Analysis, Phenomenistic/Reinforcement Theory (Klapper), Consistency Theory, Information Processing Theory, Two-step Flow Theory (Lazarsfeld, Hovland), Narcotizing Dysfunction, and Spiral of Silence.

•Media and culture (meaning-making) theories: Pragmaticism, Social Semiotics, Symbolic Interactionism (Mead), Social Constructionism, Cultivation Analysis, Mean World Index (Gerbner), and Cultural Imperialism (commodification of culture).

•Mass society theories: Magic Bullet (Hypodermic Needle) Theory, Elite Pluralism, Propaganda (Lippmann, Lasswell, Bernays, Ellul).

4. Click on the button for databases in the UMUC Subject Guide. Using one or more of these databases, explore the peer-reviewed journals for research on the mass communication theory(ies) that you selected from the list.

Then,

5. Narrow your investigation by asking yourself, How does knowledge and understanding of this/these mass communication theory(ies) enhance my media literacy?

Pick an area of concentration to focus on within the mass communication theory(ies) that you selected from the list and formulate a thesis in response to this question.

6. Select two articles about the mass communication theory(ies) you selected from among the peer-reviewed journals in the UMUC databases. The articles should discuss mass communication theories that support your thesis.

Once you have made your selections, write an Annotated Bibliography for these articles. Use the format for an APA-style annotated bibliography.

7. Begin the assignment by listing the theor(ies) you investigated.

8. List the database(s) you used for your search.

9. List the topics or keywords you used in your searches.

Then,

10. Write an introduction to your Annotated Bibliography of at least a paragraph or two (minimum 250-300 words) in which you state and explain the thesis you developed in response to the prompt, and describe the reasons for choosing the research articles that you did.

11. Write a paragraph about each article you reviewed in which you explain how it supports your thesis. This paragraph or “annotation” should be at least 150-250 words, excluding direct quotes from the source.

12. Provide a full APA-style reference for each article in turn that you selected.

Your assignment should conform to American Psychological Association style rules for manuscripts. Please be sure to write carefully and well, using vocabulary and grammar appropriate to the business setting, American Psychological Association-style in-text citations for quotes and paraphrases, and a reference page.

Sample format:

Lax, E. (2000). Woody Allen: A biography (2nd ed). N.Y.: DaCapo Press.

Lax has written the only authorized biography of Woody Allen. For more than 30 years, Lax has had full cooperation of Allen in discussions about the filmmaker’s professional endeavors and personal life. In this book, he has integrated the development of the various forms of the Allen’s work (one-liners, TV sketch work, plays, essays and films) with his personal growth and relationships. Originally published in 1992, this 2nd edition includes discussions of films since then and of Allen’s life since his contentious break in ties with actress and companion Mia Farrow. This is an essential work for understanding Allen’s history and development from his point of view.

Please submit your annotated bibliography as a Word .doc or .docx or .rtf attachment to Assignments online in our LEO classroom by 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday, April 6.

Grading Rubric

CATEGORY

A

B

C

D

F

Quality / Currency of Sources

Sources reflect contemporary theoretical thinking.

Sources reflect contemporary theoretical thinking.

Only some sources reflect contemporary theoretical thinking.

Sources may not reflect contemporary theoretical thinking.

No sources reflect contemporary theoretical thinking.

Quality / Relevancy of Sources

All sources cited can be considered relevant.

Most sources cited can be considered relevant.

Only some sources can be considered relevant.

Few sources cited can be considered relevant.

Little or no relevant sources cited.

Quality / Reliability of Sources

All sources cited can be considered reliable and/or trustworthy, i.e. bibliography exceeds or meets minimum requirements for peer-reviewed sources.

Most sources cited can be considered reliable and/or trustworthy, i.e. bibliography meets minimum requirements for peer-reviewed sources.

Only some sources can be considered reliable and/or trustworthy i.e. bibliography comes close to meeting minimum requirements for peer-reviewed sources.

Few sources cited can be considered reliable and/or trustworthy, i.e. bibliography falls well short of minimum requirements for peer-reviewed sources.

Little or no reliable and/or trustworthy sources cited, i.e. bibliography does not meet minimum requirements for peer-reviewed sources.

Quantity of sources

Document cites the number of sources outlined in the assignment.

Document cites the number of sources outlined in the assignment.

Document cites the number of sources outlined in the assignment.

Document is one source under the number of appropriate sources required by the assignment.

Document does not contain appropriate sources to meet the number required by the assignment.

Writing fluency of annotations

All annotations are thoughtful, complete, and well written.

Most annotations are thoughtful, complete, and well written.

Some annotations are well written but some are lacking in completeness, thought, and /or writing quality.

Most annotations are lacking in completeness, thought, and/or writing quality.

All annotations are lacking in completeness, thought, and/or writing quality.

APA and

Documentation

Citations are formatted correctly in the document.

There are a few formatting errors in the document’s citations.

There are some formatting errors in the document’s citations.

There are many and/or frequent formatting errors in the document’s citations.

There is little or no adherence to APA format in the document.

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