MEVIT4320 – Political Communication: Opinion Processes and Influence

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The political communication systems of established democracies are currently undergoing fundamental processes of change. Digitization changes the structure of the public sphere, challenges news media’s financial models, and alter people’s media consumption in fundamental ways. Political communication is about the flow of information and messages among political actors, citizens and the media, and the consequences of communication for allocation of public resources. The course addresses the conditions for and importance of political communication in today's digital media system, with an emphasis on what is going on at the frontier of political communication Research.

  • People can now choose between an endless array of media platforms and content, what impact does this have on opinion formation and political knowledge?
  • What is the impact of social media on political communication processes?
  • How fitting is the echo chamber-metaphor to describe the public sphere of today?
  • How do political actors use different communication platforms, and what consequences does this have for democracy?
  • How can we study similarities and differences between political communication in Nordic countries as well as other advanced democracies?
  • What are the conditions of populism in today's media systems?

Learning outcome

You learn:

  • Esssential theories and concepts, like opinion, agenda-setting, framing, motivated reasoning, and populism, to analyze political communication
  • To write a theoretical or empirical analysis about conditions for and challenges to political communication in contemporary media systems

The course emphasises:

  • Key developments in the study of political communication
  • Changing conditions for opinion formation and opinion change
  • How a changing media system challenges central understandings in the political communication field and changes the conditions for actors who wants to influence political processes

Admission

MA-students enrolled in the Political Communication: the Nordic Context direction of the Media studies master's program will have priority for this course. Master students enrolled in other programs at The Faculty of Humanities or The Faculty of Social Sciences can also take the course if there is capacity.

Teaching

Teaching in the course is organised as lectures and seminars.

 

Compulsory activity:

The students must have the following two obligatory activities approved in order to qualify for the exam:

  • At least 75% attendance to the seminars
  • Qualification assignment

Read about compulsory activities at the Faculty of Humanities.

Examination

Three days take-home exam.

The exam paper should consist of 10 pages, +/- 10%.  The front page, bibliography, any appendices and pictures (if any) will not be counted. Each page should be about 2300 characters without spaces. 

The obligatory activity must be approved before the exam.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course

Credits

10

Level

Master

Teaching

Every autumn

Examination

Every autumn

Teaching language

English