Course Description

470.687 - The Political and Social Media Revolutions

Extraordinary innovations in personal communications technology are remaking American political life. Social media are now broadly popular across all social boundaries. Collapsing business models are restructuring media of all sorts. And the fast growing power and reach of targeting are revolutionizing elections. In some ways these changes hark back to pre-Gutenberg eras when virtually all communication was social. In other ways they repeat a classically American story in which each successive wave of popular enfranchisement was helped along by something new and more powerful in the ways a continental people kept up with the news --and stayed in touch with one another. But in enabling individuals to interrelate locally and globally simultaneously and in real time, they are without precedent. Examining these changes from each of these perspectives will be the subject of this course. This course counts towards the Concentration in Political Communications.