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CS203 Lecture Notes - Communication Theory, Institute For Operations Research And The Management Sciences, Michel Foucault

Communication Studies
Course Code
Greigory De Peuter

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Conceptual Issues in Communication
Prof: Greig de Peuter
Lecture #1
Foundational keywords: theory, concepts, and traditions
Theory is explanation…”theory as a system of ideas which explain practice”
o Theres not one single theory... or explanation…
o Theory is a practice of explanation
o Attempts to account for the way things are and also for the way that
things might be
o Theory informs our behavior, and outlooks
o Theory is practical despite appearances
o “theory does something when it becomes…useful for
asking…questions about how things work and how they might work
differently…theory and action are not as neatly opposed as they might
appear at first glance. Nealon & Searls Giroux, 2012
o theory is an exercise for making what is familiar to us, strange…so we
might think about what is familiar in different ways
o theorizing is about de-familiarizing the familiar
o “what we think changes how we act”
o theory is critical in the sense of questioning the status
quo…challenging assumptions that all of us might be inclined to take
for granted
o one of the courses overarching themes is: power
how is power exercised, distributed, concentrated
how is power embodied in us…in our subjectivity, in our
actions with each other
how is power designed into space
how is power contested/challenged
what sources of counter power are out there
This course is designed to provide an introduction to select key concepts in our
interdisciplinary field representation, ideology, hegemony, commodification, the
culture industry…
concepts are the theories tools…
o concepts will be defined, contextualized, and illustrated in readings,
lectures, and/or tutorials
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