Mass Media in Multicultural America

"I am thriving in J162 because the lectures provide an immersive environment to learn and grow as a thinker. The MMA assignments keep me engaged and foster opportunities for me to work on certain writing and critical analysis skills. I am very thankful to work with my TA on constructive feedback along the way. I look forward to the rest of the semester." - Student feedback

"I have learned about the role of mass media in muliculural america. I have realized that the media can be quite decieving. I also realized that there are so many voiced to be heard in the media. My favorite moment was meeting with my partner for the podcast assignment and realized we thought the same thing." - Student feedback

This course is an introduction to the roles and functions of print, film, electronic and digital media in multicultural America. International comparisons highlight differences and commonalities in the social and cultural position of mass media in societies with racially and ethnically diverse populations.

In this course, we will consider the cultural history and experiences of racial and ethnic minorities. We are particularly interested in groups characterized by a combination of political oppression, economic exploitation, and social discrimination. Since our primary geographical focus is on the United States, we will concentrate on African Americans, Arab Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx and Native Americans.

We will explore the way these groups are portrayed in mainstream mass media, focusing primarily on three mass media channels: print, film, and digital media; and on three communication forms: news, advertising, and entertainment. This course is designed to provide you with the theoretical tools necessary to critically consume and analyze racial representations in mass media.


Besides the US, we will integrate global perspectives on race and ethnicity throughout the course. It is important to bear in mind that the American histories and experiences are not exceptional – they need to be better understood within both the local and global contexts and in relation to other societies around the world. 

Throughout the semester, you will work on a series of multimodal media assignments (MMA). 

#1 Reflection on Self and Difficult Topics 

#2 Media Diet Infographic 

#3 Media Analysis Essay 

#4 Background Research Essay

#5 Final Multimodal Project