Communication and American Culture


Entertainment, crime, & story

This course is driven by a central question: How do different media shape, obscure, and influence American Culture? To answer this question, we will be looking at multiple forms of media: A serialized podcast, documentary films, comedy, non-fiction writing, journalism, and dramatic television, through the lens of the seminal book Amusing Ourselves to Death.

Students will:

  • Analyze the ways modern American media interact with the conduct of American life

  • Recognize the role of commercialism and other aspects of contemporary American capitalism specifically late capitalism (sometimes known as neoliberalism) 

  • Examine the problem of personal development and relationships in the context of a commercially dominated media system.

  • Understanding of how different forms of media interact with American life

  • Understand how narrative shapes our perspective on real-life events

  • Explain the role of commerce/entertainment and how it forms the American Identity

Module 1