Designing Methodologies for Studying Media
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Department: Media Studies
Course Number: NMDS 5026
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Research Methods
  • Media Studies
This course explores the design of research methodologies for the systematic study of media, how and why media are made, distributed, used, and understood. Because media systems can be very complex, and studied from various perspectives, it is important for media researchers to be able to deploy a range of techniques, and especially to combine techniques, in ways that allow for meaningful, clear, and critical research. The course emphasizes the framing of questions, as well as the choice of best methods for research, and how the choice of methods influences the significance, meaning, and impact of the results. This includes ethical considerations of research, such as protecting subjects' privacy and anonymity. The class will give a survey of various types of empirical methods, including qualitative ones, such as ethnography, participant observation, focus groups, interviews, auto-ethnography, and rhetorical analysis; and quantitative ones, such as sampling, surveys, content analysis, audience analysis, "follow the money," techniques. We look at different examples of how these methods can be effectively combined, and at various resources or studying media, especially on-line information and data. Assignments will consist of several small research projects involving different methods, and a larger research project employing an original methodology.
Course Open to: Majors Only


Open to Graduate students.