2010/09/20 Andreas Jungherr

Political Communication Winter Term 2010-11 – Syllabus

It’s this time of year again. The winter term is just about to start and so I had a look at the seminar I’m about to give in the coming months and revised it a bit. I’ll be teaching an introductory course in political communication for first and second year students of political science at Bamberg University. The aim of the course is to familiarize students with some of the major theories and topics of political communication. Below you find a draft of the syllabus with the assigned readings. It would be great to know what you guys think of the syllabus and especially if in your opinion I am missing crucial elements that an introductory course in political communication should have.

General Readings
Denis McQuail. 2010. “News Public Opinion and Political Communication,” in: McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory. 6. Auflage. London: Sage, 503-536.

Donald R. Kinder. 2003. “Communication and Politics in the Age of Information,” in: David O. Sears, Leonie Huddy and Robert Jervis (eds.). Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 357-393.

Holli A. Semetko. 2004. “Media, Public Opinion, and Political Action,” in: John D. H. Downing, Denis McQuail, Philip Schlesinger and Ellen Wartella (eds.). The Sage Handbook of Media Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 351-374.

Winfried Schulz. 2008. Politische Kommunikation: Theoretische Ansätze und Ergebnisse empirischer Forschung. 2. Auflage. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Werner J. Severin and James W. Tankard. 1992. “Scientific Method,” in: Communication Theories: Origins, Methods, and Uses in the Mass Media. 3. Auflage. New York: Longman, 19-35.

Werner J. Severin and James W. Tankard. 1992. “Effects of Mass Communication,” in: Communication Theories: Origins, Methods, and Uses in the Mass Media. 3. Auflage. New York: Longman, 247-268.

Strong Media Effects and Propaganda
Mandatory Reading:
Paul F. Lazarsfeld and Robert K. Merton. 1949. “Studies in Radio and Film Propaganda,” Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences 6, 58-79. Reprinted in: Robert K. Merton (ed.). 1968. Social Theory and Social Structure. New York: Free Press, 563-582.

Presentation on:
Klaus Merten. 2000. “Struktur und Funktion von Propaganda,” Publizistik 45 (2), 143-162.

Opinion Leaders and Two-Step-Flow of Communication

Mandatory Reading:
Paul F. Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson and Hazel Gaudet. 1944. “The Nature of Political Influence,” in: The People’s Choice: How the Voter Makes Up His Mind in a Presidential Campaign. New York: Duell Sloan and Pearce, 150-158.

Steven H. Chaffee and John L. Hochheimer. 1982. “The Beginnings of Political Communication Research in the US: Origins of the Limited Effects Model”, in: Everett M. Rogers and Francis Balle (eds.). The Media Revolution in America and Western Europe. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 263-283.

Presentation on:
John P. Robinson. 1976. Interpersonal Influence in Election Campaigns: Two Step-Flow Hypotheses. Public Opinion Quarterly 40 (3), 304-319.

Minimal Effects: Reinforcement and Slectivity

Mandatory Reading:
Paul F. Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson and Hazel Gaudet. 1944. “The Types of Changes,” in: The People’s Choice: How the Voter Makes Up His Mind in a Presidential Campaign. New York: Duell Sloan and Pearce, 65-104.

David O. Sears and Jonathan L. Freedman. 1965. “Selective Exposure to Information: A Critical Review,” Public Opinion Quarterly 31 (2), 194-213.

Presentation on:
Natalie Jomini Stroud. 2008. “Media Use and Political Predispositions: Revisiting the Concept of Selective Exposure,” Political Behavior 30 (3), 341-366.

Shanto Iyengar and Kyu S. Hahn. 2009. “Red Media, Blue Media: Evidence of Ideological Selectivity in Media Use,” Journal of Communication 59 (1), 19-39.

Return to the Concept of Powerful Mass Media: Spiral of Silence

Mandatory Reading:
Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. 1991. “The Theory of Public Opinion: The Concept of the Spiral of Silence,” in: James A. Anderson (ed.). Communication Yearbook 14. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 256-287.

Serge Moscovici. 1991. “Silent Majorities and Loud Minorities,” in: James A. Anderson (ed.). Communication Yearbook 14. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 298-308.

Presentation on:
Diana C. Mutz and Joe Soss. 1997. “Reading Public Opinion: The Influence of News Coverage on Perceptions of Public Sentiment,” Public Opinion Quarterly 61 (3), 431-451.

Carroll J. Glynn, Andrew F. Hayes, James Shanahan [@JamesShanahan]. 1997. “Perceived Support for One’s Opinion and Willingness to Speak Out,” Public Opinion Quarterly 61 (3), 452-463.

Agenda Setting and Priming

Mandatory Reading:
Maxwell E. McCombs and Donald L. Shaw. 1972. “The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media,” Public Opinion Quarterly 36 (2), 176-187.

Shanto Iyengar and Donald R. Kinder. 1987. “A Primordial Power?” in: News that Matters: Television and American Opinion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1-5.

Shanto Iyengar and Donald R. Kinder. 1987. “The Priming Effect,” in: News that Matters: Television and American Opinion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 63-72.

Presentation on:
Lutz Erbring, Edie N. Goldenberg and Arthur H. Miller. 1980. “Front-Page News and Real-World Cues: A New Look at Agenda-Setting by the Media,” American Journal of Political Science 24 (1), 16-49.

Steven H. Chaffee and Miriam J. Metzger. 2001. “The End of Mass Communication?” Mass Communication and Society 4 (4), 365-79.


Mandatory Reading:
Dennis Chong and James N. Druckman. 2007. “Framing Theory,” Annual Review of Political Science 10, 103-126.

Robert M. Entman. 1993. “Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm,” Journal of Communication 43 (4), 51-58.

Presentation on:
James N. Druckman. 2004. “Political Preference Formation: Competition, Deliberation, and the (Ir)relevance of Framing Effects,” American Political Science Review 98 (4), 671-686.

Dietram A. Scheufele [Blog] [@dietram] and David Tewksbury. 2007. “Framing, Agenda-Setting, and Priming: The Evolution of Three Media-Effects Models,” Journal of Communication 57 (1), 9-20.

Knowledge Gap and Digital Divide

Mandatory Reading:
Philip J. Tichenor, George A. Donohue and Clarice N. Olien. 1970. “Mass Media Flow and Differential Growth in Knowledge,” Public Opinion Quarterly 34 (2), 159-170.

Pippa Norris [Blog]. 2001. “Civic Engagement,” in: Digital Divide: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the Internet Worldwide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 217-232.

Presentation on:
Cecilie Gaziano. 1997. “Forecast 2000: Widening Knowledge Gaps,” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 74 (2), 237-264.

Eszter Hargiatti [Blog] [@eszter] and Amanda Hinnant. 2008. “Digital Inequality: Differences in Young Adults’ Use of the Internet,” Communication Research 35 (5), 600-621.

The Selection of News and the Construction of Reality

Mandatory Reading:
Hans Mathias Kepplinger. 1989. “Theorien der Nachrichtenauswahl als Theorien der Realität,” Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, B15, 3-16.

W. Lance Bennett. 1990. “Towards a Theory of Press-State Relations in the United States,” Journal of Communication 40 (2), 103-125.

Presentation on:
W. Lance Bennett, Victor W. Pickard, David P. Iozzi, Carl L. Schroeder, Taso Lago and C. Evans Caswell. 2004. “Managing the Public Sphere: Journalistic Constructions of the Great Globalization Debate,” Journal of Communication 54 (3), 437-455.

Harvey Molotch and Marily J. Lester. 1974. “News as Purposive Behavior: On the Strategic Use of Routine Events, Accidents, and Scandals,” American Sociological Review 39 (1), 101-112.

Mass Media and Politics

Mandatory Reading:
Winfried Schultz. 2004. “Reconstructing Mediatization as an Analytical Concept,” European Journal of Political Communication 19 (1), 87-102.

Michael J. Robinson. 1976. “Public Affairs Television and the Growth of Political Malaise: The Case of The Selling of the Pentagon,” American Political Science Review, 70, 409-43.

Presentation on:
Christina Holtz-Bacha. 1989. “Verleidet uns das Fernsehen die Politik? Auf den Spuren der Videomalaise,” in: Max Kaase and Winfried Schulz (eds.). Massenkommunikation. Theorien, Methoden, Befunde. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 239-252.

Joseph N. Capella. 2002. “Cynicism and Social Trust in the New Media Environment,” Journal of Communication 52 (1), 229-241.

Political Learning: Hard News vs Soft News

Mandatory Reading:
James Curran, Shanto Iyengar, Anker Brink Lund and Inka Salovaara-Moring. 2008. “Media System, Public Knowledge and Democracy: A Comparative Study,” European Journal of Communication 24 (1), 5-26.

Matthew A. Baum and Angela S. Jamison. 2006. “The Oprah Effect: How Soft News Helps Inattentive Citizens Vote Consistently,” Journal of Politics 68 (4), 946-959.

Presentation on:
Jody Baumgartner and Jonathan S. Morris. 2006. “The Daily Show Effect: Candidate Evaluations, Efficacy, and American Youth,” American Politics Research 34 (3), 341- 367.

W. Lance Bennett. 2005. “Beyond Pseudoevents: Election News as Reality TV,” American Behavioral Scientist 49 (3), 1-15.

Mass Media and and Campaigning
Mandatory Reading:
Klaus Schönbach and Edmund Lauf. 2002. “The Trap Effect of Television and its Competitors,” Communication Research 29 (5), 564-583.

Pippa Norris and David Sanders. 2003. “Message or Medium? Campaign Learning during the 2001 British General Election,” Political Communication 20 (3), 233-62.

Presentation on:
Ken Goldstein and Paul Freedman. 2002. “Lessons Learned: Campaign Advertising in the 2000 Elections,” Political Communication 19 (1), 5-28.

Jürgen Wilke and Carsten Reinemann. 2006. “Die Normalisierung des Sonderfalls? Die Wahlkampfberichterstattung der Presse 2005 im Langzeitvergleich,” in: Christina Holtz-Bacha (ed.). Die Massenmedien im Wahlkampf: Die Bundestagswahl 2005. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 306-337.

Political Communication Online
Mandatory Reading:
Sara Bentivegna. 2006. “Rethinking Politics in the Age of ICTs,” European Journal of Communication 21 (3), 331-344.

Birgit van Eimeren and Beate Frees. 2010. “Fast 50 Millionen Deutsche online – Multimedia für alle?” Media Perspektiven 7-8, 334-349.

Presentation on:
Matthew Hindman. 2005. “The Real Lessons of Howard Dean: Reflections on the First Digital Campaign,” Perspectives on Politics 3 (1), 121-128.

So guys, what’s missing?

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