Communication 206: Communication and Culture
Professor Robeson Taj Frazier
Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 11-12 or by appointment
Office: ASC 326A
This course is designed as an introduction to communications as the study of culture. Any
study of communication entails an understanding of culture, and vice-versa. As an
examination of cultural institutions, ideologies, artifacts, and productions, work in
cultural studies and communication is concerned with the integral relationship of cultural
practices to relationships of power. Therefore we will focus on some of the key
methodologies of cultural analysis and some of the primary themes of cultural study, with
an emphasis on how they intersect with central issues in the field of communication. The
first half of the course will be devoted to general approaches, key concepts, and over-
arching questions, with a particular emphasis on the study of media, popular culture, and
communication. The second half will focus more specifically on distinct units of study—
gender, pop music, television, radio, brand culture, and others—as individual case studies
of cultural analysis. We will pay particular attention to how notions of both culture and
cultural study have changed over time, and how those legacies influence contemporary
debates around cultural production, cultural identity, and global cultural change.
Required Texts for the Course (available at the bookstore)
Duncombe, Stephen, ed. 2002.
Cultural Resistance Reader
. New York: Verso.
Additional Readings posted on Blackboard.
Students are required to attend class and section regularly, to contribute to class
discussions and section discussions, and to do weekly reading. Attendance in lecture is
important: there is significant material covered in lecture that is not in the reading and