Class Communication and Networks Theory

  • Presentation


    Learning outcomes of the course unit

    Célia Quico (CQ)

    1. To know and to distinguish which are the main theories and models in the field of the audiences studies, as well as their usefulness and relevance to investigate audiences today

    2. Understand and critically reflect on the risks and opportunities related with media use

    3. Get a broad perspective on resistance to the media, as well as on media and activism today

    4. Get a better understanding of the importance of media literacy in contemporary societies


    Manuel Marques-Pita (MMP)

    1. To learn the basic mathematical and computational concepts of communication theory.

    2. To understand the ways in which network theory plays a fundamental role in the new computational social science

    3. To gain insight about how networks can give rise to hard-to-understand phenomena such as complex information diffusion

    4. To understand the roles of Big data in answering important societal questions that concern communication

  • Code


  • Syllabus


    Course contents - Célia Quico (CQ)

    Introduction to main theories in the field of audience studies

    Audience studies today: audiences as targets-in-motion

    Risks and opportunities in the use of media today

    Alternative media and alternative narratives

    Media literacy: present and future challenges

    Digital divide and digital citizenship

    Participatory culture and civic imagination

    Course contents - Manuel Marques-Pita (MMP)

    - The Network Society

    - Introduction to the mathematical theory of communication

    - Basic ideas about networks and how to analyse them

    - Social Network Analysis

    - Structural and dynamic network theories and methods

    - Diffusion and collective information processing in Social Networks

    - Critical questions for Network Science, Big Data and AI

  • Objectives


    The main objective of this course is to help students gain knowledge about the roles of media technology and network technologies, in the context of communication studies, in particular:
    a) To understand the communication phenomenon, distinguishing the different contexts, types and functions, as well as the communication processes supported by network technologies.
    b) To understand and critically analyze contemporary social phenomena associated with the use and consumption of information supported by network technologies.
    c) To know how to identify and critically analyze emerging processes on social networks, such as ‘cascades’, ‘memetic diffusion’, ‘influencer effect’, ‘newsfeed manipulation’ and others.
    d) To understand and analyze the structural basis of networks, and their role in explaining emerging processes.
    e) To learn the basic repertoire of tools to analyze collective information processing in networks (SNA Social Network Analysis).

  • Teaching methodologies and assessment

    Teaching methodologies and assessment


    a) individual assignment - 60% of final grade

    the presentation and moderation of a online talk, with the student being responsible for selecting and inviting the speaker the person to invite, producing the necessary communication and dissemination materials, moderation of the event, including online streaming and video recording, with the production of a final report about the event and about the topic presented by the guest speaker.

    b) group work assignment - 40% of final grade

    collaborative organisation of a debate within the scope of Media Literacy with three to four guests (via zoom or hybrid event), at the end of the semester, to be streamed and video recorded, with the joint production of a final report of the event (40% final grade)

  • References


    Bibliography – CQ

    Frau-Meigs, D. (2019). Information Disorders: Risks and Opportunities for Digital Media and Information Literacy?. Medijske Studije 10(19):10-28.

    Livingstone, S. (2018). Audiences in an age of datafication: critical questions for media research. Television and New Media. ISSN 1552-8316.

    McQuail, D. (2000). McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory (4rd edition). London: Sage Publications.

    Syvertsen, T. (2017). Media Resistance: Protest, Dislike, Abstention. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

    Treré, E., Candón-Mena, J., & Sola-Morales, S. (2021). Imaginarios activistas sobre Internet: Del mito tecno-utópico al desencanto digital. CIC. Cuadernos de Información y Comunicación, 26, 33-53.

  • Office Hours

    Office Hours

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