Theories of Communication

Please be noted that tomorrow's (Dec. 2) class of communication theories will be postponed to the afternoon of Dec. 16, Room 511, Building 1. Thanks for your understanding.

Theories of Communication

2013 Fall Semester

Lecturers: Hu Zhengrong, Zhang Lei, Ji Deqiang

Guest Speakers: Zhang Zhihua, Feng Yan, Xu Peixi, Zheng Liang

Time: 8:00-12:00am, Monday, Sept. 9-Dec. 30,2013

Venue: Room B-804, Building 48, CUC Campus 


This course provides a globally historical trajectory of communication studies sinceearly 20th century and introduces a well-developed system of communication theories from various perspectives of social science and humanities. Rangingfrom administrative research on communication processes of information flow,which is overwhelmingly based on the classical sociological tradition ofstructural functionalism, to critical analysis contextualizing media and communication in broader historical, social and cultural backgrounds, as wellas the philosophical considerations upon the complex relations of technology and society, this course offers a high diversity of thoughts for students to understand the increasingly complicated social environment mediated by different communication genres. This course also theoretically examines the cutting-edge information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the context of social transition. China, a society in rapid transition experiencing unprecedented ICTs development, will be frequently presented as casestudy. 

The arena of “independent” (and disciplined) communication studies has been established and developed “dependently”, which refers to a century-long tradition of inter-disciplinary efforts, described as a “Cross-road” by Wilbur Schramm, therefore, this course intends to show itself as an open platform for inputs and critics from students, and encourage students to think broadly and deeply on concrete issues such as (comparative) media system, regulation, policy-making,market and culture.  

Course assessments:

The course is assessed by means of both a short essay of 1000 English words to befinished in the final week, and group presentation by the end of the semester (details to be announced later). 

Ther eare three possible results for students – pass, fail or distinction. Adistinction is marked at 70% or above; a fail at below 50%.


Stanley J. Baran, Dennis K. Davis (2009): Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Ferment and Future (Fifth edition), Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing.

Beside textbook, we also offer weekly readings in association with each lecture.Please follow the course web ( for updates.