CMS 386P Advocacy
This course focuses on research and theory related to the very practical issue of how one "sells" ideas and themselves. Integrating topics in persuasion and marketing, the course reviews relevant theories and research on strategic influence.
CMS 386P Conflict and Communication
While it was once assumed that interpersonal, group, and international conflict were unrelated topics, that assumption is being challenged today. This course analyzes talk in conflict in a number of direct and mediated situations, focusing on the relationships between social structures and communication, communication or language theories we may derive from the study of conflict talk and the application of interaction and language theories to the study of conflict. Topics include relationship conflict, language and violence, protest language, social conflict, and structures for resolution and management. We will start by reviewing key theories, research, and practices of conflict communication in a variety of contexts, emphasize constructive conflict management from a communication perspective which places primacy in the message as the focus of conflict research and practice.
CMS 386S Family Communication
This course is designed to acquaint students with some of the more common issues that face those who conduct research on family communication. The developmental life course of traditional U.S. families, the various types of families that comprise today’s society, and several current issues that affect families will be covered. Specific topics include communication and attraction, marriage, divorce, sibling relationships, step-families, the effect of spouses’ occupations on the family, the influence of culture on family interaction, and communication in abusive families.
CMS Language and Social Cognition
CMS 390P Rhetoric and Style
A broad-based consideration of social style (including dress, grooming, posture, entertainment, vehicles, living arrangements, etc.) as a system of communication at the intersection of culture and commodification, with special attention to the expressive and practical functions of such symbolic displays.
CMS 390R Engaging Postmodern Rhetoric
This course surveys major theorists of "postmodernity" whose work has influenced rhetorical theory and criticism. Topics may include rhetoric, rationality, and affect; politics and aesthetics; theories of the "new" economy and attendant discourse theories; populism and social change; the intersection of Marxism and psychoanalysis; and others. Readings vary. We will read major works in their entirety and corresponding rhetorical theory that has incorporated this material. Finally, we will consider critics of the “posts” and critics of particular authors, alongside debates in rhetorical and cultural studies over the political and critical stakes of the postmodern turn. This is a readings course. Assignments include extensive reading notes and class presentations. The final project for the course is a "theory map" in which students arrange the theories surveyed according to their own intellectual schemata and theoretical agendas.
CMS 390N Communication and Public Opinion
This course will explore questions concerning communication, the media, and public opinion. Beginning with historical work on public opinion, we will investigate what public opinion is and how it is constructed. We will question how public opinion is formed, how it is structured, and how it can change. We also will explore how public opinion functions in a democratic system. Special emphasis will be placed on investigating how the media shapes, and is shaped by, public opinion. Theoretical and empirical research from sociology, political science, social psychology, and mass communication will be discussed.
CMS 390J Pragmatism and Rhetoric
This course examines what pragmatism—as a tradition of American thought and as a general method of inquiry—has to offer those engaged in the study of rhetoric and communication. The classical pragmatists praised communication and community, and emphasized social criticism, the importance of social science to society, and the value of culture. We will examine the thought of pragmatist thinkers to determine what pragmatism means for theories of rhetoric and communication, ideal senses of community, the art of rhetoric, as well as for the methods employed in the study of communication. The thought of Charles S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey will assume a particular prominence. We will also look at contemporary pragmatists (such as Richard Rorty and Stanley Fish) to see how they engage the ideas of rhetoric, criticism, and communication.
CMS 390P Rhetorical Theory: Derrida and Lacan
CMS 386N Qualitative Methods
This course emphasizes developing texts in the field for analysis and includes all areas of communication studies. Students complete a field research project that uses interview, observational, and archival methods.
CMS 390S Groups, Teams and Communities
This course focuses on the major concepts and theories of communicative processes in task-oriented groups and teams. It also expands beyond the traditional "small group" context to examine "communities of practice" as an important group/team context. To this end, we consider both the important theoretical underpinnings of this research tradition as well as the practical implications of working with groups and teams in organizations, especially cultivating communities of practice. Readings will cover theory and research related to communication problems, dynamics, and practices in group and team settings. Variable topics include group/team development, decision-making, knowledge-management, and trends in group communication research.
CMS 390S Communication Technology In Organizations
Contemporary organizations are infused with information and communication technologies (ICTs). This course examines the theoretical and empirical work on the communicative functions of organizational technology. First we review the major theories that have guided work in this area and then move into more complex theoretical perspectives on simultaneous and sequential ICT use. The empirical work in this area examines how communication technology is used paradoxically, strategically, and to facilitate multitasking. We will explore the use of specific ICTs, ICT use in meetings, and the positive and negative outcomes associated with ICT use. We will also explore the following organizational technology topics: diffusion of practices, organizational change, monitoring and surveillance, new employee socialization and wellness programs, telework and virtual organizations, organizational crisis and emergency response, and the use of mobile devices.
CMS 390S Communicating Knowledge