Communication and Society (261200)

Learning Outcomes

The main objective of this course is that students develop the ability to analyze phenomena related to communication and media from a scientific social perspective.
To this end, we will address basic knowledge about the origins and epistemology of the social sciences, the thought of some of the most important authors of sociological theory, classical and contemporary, as well as the main theoretical approaches guiding empirical research in the social sciences.
A perspective of critical analysis will be present, scrutinizing both common sense and more elaborated ideologies that circulate in the public sphere, and we will try to privilege empirical topics and theoretical lenses relevant to the study of communication and media in contemporary societies.
Finally, the course also aims to contribute to the development of academic communication skills, oral and written.

Study Program

1.    What is social science?
    1.1.    Total social fact and the social sciences
    1.2.    The sociological imagination
    1.3.    How to do social science research
2.    Founders and classic authors in the study of society
    2.1.    Augusto Comte
    2.2.    Karl Marx
    2.3.    Harriet Martineau
    2.4.    Émile Durkheim
    2.5.    Max Weber
3.    Modern theoretical perspectives on the social study of communication
    3.1.    Functionalism
    3.2.    Conflict perspectives
    3.3.    Symbolic interactionism
    3.4.    Feminist perspectives
4.    Some contemporary thought on the social study of communication
    4.1.    Michel Foucault: the study of power
    4.2.    Jürgen Habermas: democracy and the public sphere
    4.3.    Judith Butler: identity and performativity
    4.4.    Ulrich Beck: risk society



Giddens, A. (2014) Sociologia (9ª ed.). Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. (exists in English in ISMT’s library)
McQuail, D. (2013). Teoria da Comunicação de Massas. Porto Alegre: Editora Penso. (exists in English in ISMT’s library)