The mass media component of our program focuses on theory and research related to media content, the media's influence on individuals and society, and audiences' reception of mass media. At the graduate level, mass media courses provide students with a strong foundation in mass media theory and research. We focus on training our graduate students, one-on-one or in small teams, to produce publishable research. Topics of recent faculty-student collaborations include prosocial effects of anti-discrimination Internet content on attitudes and beliefs, the contribution of media exposure to college students' endorsement of the hookup culture, and the darkside of fandom on the Web.
Our mass media faculty examine the representations of gender, race, class, and sexuality in traditional (e.g., TV, film, and magazines) and new media (e.g., Internet and video games); and the influence of these representations on perceptions of self and others, behaviors, and culture at large. Their research has been published in top-tier communication journals and has received notable research funding.
Coursework in mass media is designed to cover both theory and current research, as well as to expose students to quantitative, qualitative, and critical approaches to the study of media. In class, we investigate the role of media in society, as well as the role of media in constructing knowledge, values, attitudes, and behaviors for the individual. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty or peers, or to develop individual projects.