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Viewing: CRD 703 : Communication Networks

Last approved: Thu, 02 Jun 2016 14:07:56 GMT

Last edit: Thu, 02 Jun 2016 14:07:50 GMT

Change Type
CRD (Communication Rhetoric & Digital Media)
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
Communication Networks
Communication Networks
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
CHASS Dean’s Office (16HSS)
Term Offering
Spring Only
Offered Every Year
Spring 2016
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Course Attribute(s)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
Melissa Johnson

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Seminar1515NoThis course is required for CRDM first year students.
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Restriction: CRDM students only
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Intensive study of theories, histories, and practices of networked communication. Emergence, development, acceptance, and dissolution of a variety of networks organized around information and communication technologies. Survey of network theory and methods for studying networks, networked communication practices, and their effects on issues such as identity, labor, organization, power, etc. Research/applications project developed in consultation with the instructor.

This CRDM core course CAF was created before the program started in 2005. Much has changed in the past 10 years, and the changes in this CAF reflect new ways the course has been taught in the past few years, and includes expertise of newly hired CRDM core faculty as well.

The reason for the course title change also comes from the fact that "network society" is a term from the 1990s, very much associated with the work of Manuel Castells. "Communication Networks" is broader and more reflective of the course's current contents, which includes a survey of several theories and methods about communication networks.


Is this a GEP Course?
GEP Categories

Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:


Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.






US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.








Requisites and Scheduling
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.

b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?

List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.

List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)

Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
Title and author of any required text or publications.

Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.

List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.

Faculty will be teaching this course as part of their regular course load. No new faculty are required to teach this course. The Departments of Communication and English have many faculty qualified to teach it (Johnson, Swarts, de Souza e Silva, Rieder, Craig, Binder). No special resources needed.

The rapid development and proliferation of information and communication technologies has contributed to the growth and importance of networks. We can now speak of not only communication networks but also of financial, military, social, cultural, and political networks, to name a few. These networks, the technologies that support them and the data they produce and process have a profound effect on institutions, culture, identity formation, social organization, and communication practices generally. At least part of the effect is that these network practices take place through the representational interfaces of the technologies with which we surround ourselves. And behind these technologies are important political issues concerning systems of ownership and governance that drive the development, distribution and use of these technologies. The rate at which new information and communication technologies are developed and the degree to which these technologies are integrated into the practices of modem society ensures the need for a constantly evolving set of theories to articulate and understand these effects and an equally strong need for the development of new and use of existing research methods to study these technologically mediated network practices.

Communication Networks is a critical part of the curriculum for the program in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media not only because it seeks to uncover the issues of growing concern in networked society, but also because it will deliver a survey of relevant theories and research methods to study network practices while engaging students in a critical dialogue that can lead to the refinement and development of new theories and methods.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to...

  1. Articulate the role of communication in constructing and maintaining different types of networks, including social, organizational, financial, trade, and military networks;

  2. Demonstrate a broad interdisciplinary understanding of theories describing the social and cultural impact of different networks and the data they structure;

  3. Identify gaps in our theoretical understanding of networks and address those gaps through careful study of the ways networks are created, used, and transformed to exercise power, reinforce or challenge existing social relations, and develop new social and cultural practices;

  4. Understand, evaluate and refine different methods for studying networks, ranging from traditional social science approaches (e.g., experimental, survey, or ethnographic methods) to alternative approaches (e.g., mathematical modeling, mapping, visualization, and activity analysis);

  5. Design and carry out a large-scale project of research and/ or application.

Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Discussion150See Moodle for separate handouts for discussion leader and research paper assignments
Participation200This is a graduate seminar, thus students are expected to be actively engaged in the class. Answering questions and volunteering ideas are ways of earning class participation credit. Quality as well as quantity is considered. Keeping up with assigned readings is the best way to ensure quality class participation. To prepare for discussion, note the following for each reading:

1) What is the author's thesis or main point(s)? 2) What are some of the key concepts and/or theories in the reading, and how does the author define or describe them? 3) Are definitions in line with other conceptual definitions we have read or discussed? How are they similar or different? 4) What theoretical and/or intellectual traditions inform this reading? 5) What evidence is provided to support the author’s main points? What methodology is used and how does that influence the author’s thesis or main point(s), along with his or her findings and conclusions? Is secondary or primary data used? 6) What are the strengths and weaknesses of this piece?

Discussion will be conducted in an atmosphere that respects diversity of ideas. Remember that an alternate viewpoint offered by a class member (or the professor) is not necessarily his or her personal view, but rather a point for discussion
Major Paper550See Moodle for separate handouts for discussion leader and research paper assignments
presentation100See Moodle for separate handouts for discussion leader and research paper assignments
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
The Rise of the Network Society, Key ConceptsWeek 1Castells, M. (2011). A network theory of power. International Journal of Communication, 5, 773-787. Available via Communication and Mass Media Complete or via

Carey, J. W. (2005). Historical pragmatism and the Internet. New Media & Society, 7(4), 443-455. Available via Communication and Mass Media Complete.
Introduction to Networks, Theories & ConceptsWeek 3Rainie & Wellman (2012), pages 1-108.

Granovetter, M. (1983). The strength of weak ties: A network theory revisited. Sociological Theory, 1, 201-233. Available via Academic Search Complete. Pdf on Moodle

Haythornwaite, C. (2005). Social networks and internet connectivity effects. Information, Communication & Society, 9(2), 125-147.

Hampton, K. N., & Ling, R. (2013). Explaining communication displacement and large-scale social change in core networks. Information, Communication & Society, 16(4), 561-589
Knowledge Networks: Actor-Network Theory (ANT), Communities of Practice Week 4Shudson, M. (2015). What sorts of things are thingy? And what sorts of thinginess are there? Notes on stuff and social construction. Journalism, 16(1), 61-64.

Micó, J. L., Masip, P., & Domingo, D. (2013). To wish impossible things: Convergence as a process of diffusion of innovations in an actor-network. The International Communication Gazette, 75(1), 118-137.

Humphreys, L. (2012). Connecting, coordinating, cataloguing: Communicative practices on mobile social networks. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 56(4), 494-510.

Takhteyev, Y. (2009) Networks of practice as heterogeneous actor-networks: The case of software development in Brazil. Information, Communication & Society, 12(40, 566-583. Available via Communication & Mass Media Complete.
Social Movements, Netizens, Twitter RevolutionsWeek 5Castells, M. (Networks of Outrage and Hope, 2012)

Both discussion leaders may draw on concepts in pages 1-19 and pages 218-240 for their cases. See appendices for key dates and data.

Al-Rawi, Ahmed (2014). Framing the online women’s movements in the Arab world. Information, Communication & Society, 17(9), 1147-1161.
Geopolitical NetworksWeek 6Cammaerts, B. (2013). Networked resistance: The Case of WikiLeaks. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 18, 420-436.

Arquilla, J. & Ronfeld, D. (2001). Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, & Militancy. A RAND Monograph Report. Free online via Rand Corp website.

Stohl, C. & Stohl, M. (2007). Networks of terror: Theoretical assumptions and pragmatic consequences. Communication Theory, 17(2), 93-124. Available via Communication & Mass Media Complete.
Economics of the Network Society, Networked Commerce Work in the Network Society Week 7Brabham, pages 1-115.

Terranova, T. (2000). Free labor: Producing culture for the digital economy. Social Text 18(2), 33-57. Available via Academic Search Complete, NCSU Libraries.

Fish, A., & Srinivasan, R. (2012). Digital labor is the new killer app. New Media & Society, 14(1), 137-152. Available via Communication and Mass Media Complete.
Networks and OrganizationsWeek 8Rainie &Wellman, pages 171-195.

Lee, S., & Monge, P. (2011). The co-evolution of multi-plex communication networks in organizational communities. Journal of Communication, 61, 758-779
Niche NetworksWeek 9Helland, C. (2007). Diaspora on the electronic frontier: Developing virtual connections with sacred homelands. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12, 956-976.

Nakamura, L. (2002). Cybertyping and the work of race in the age of digital reproduction. In Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet, pp. 1-30. New York: Routledge. Pdf available on Moodle.

Behm-Morawitz, E., & Ta, D. (2014). Cultivating virtual stereotypes? The impact of video game play on racial/ethnic stereotypes. The Howard Journal of Communications, 25, 1-15.
Networked Relationships and Networked HouseholdsWeek 10Rainie & Wellman, pages 117-170.

Networked Youth
Gardner & Davis, pages 1-208.
Peer Reviews of Revised Prospectus Week 11Bring two hard copies of your prospectus to class.
The Networked Self, Networks and CognitionWeek 12Carr, pages 5-224.

Millington, B. (2014). Smartphone apps and the mobile privatization of health and fitness. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 31(5), 479-493.
Regulating and Governing Communication Networks Cyberspace and the Fourth Amendment Intellectual Property EthicsWeek 13Thornton, L. (2014). The photo is live at applifam: An Instagram community grapples with how images should be used. Visual Communication Quarterly, 21(2), 72-82.
Privacy and Surveillance Free Expression Digital SovereigntyWeek 14Rainey & Wellman pages 235-244
Student Research PresentationsWeek 15N/A
Student Research PresentationsWeek 16N/A
mlnosbis 2/16/2015: No conflicting/overlapping courses.

ghodge 2/17/2016 Ask department to edit syllabus to be consistent with the revised course action in CIM

ABGS Reviewer Comments:
-No issues.
mjohnson (Fri, 15 Apr 2016 14:02:44 GMT): MJohnson: I have revised syllabus to coincide with new objectives and new course name.
Key: 1203