This blog is associated with the Brooklyn College course SOCY2800: Mass Media and Mass Communications. It is taught by Kristen Casey Miller, and adjunct instructor with BC’s Sociology Department. The course webpage, which includes the syllabus and most of the course’s reading and writing assignments, is here. This blog is a place for students to continue and expand on the conversation we’re having in the classroom. It’s also a place for all of us, including your professor, to share links to articles, events, films, concerts, exhibitions – anything that seems relevant and interesting to the class. Feel free to “think outside the box” and be creative with your posts (while remembering to check for appropriateness – your prof reserves the right to delete anything on this blog she deems to be triggering, offensive, distasteful or otherwise unsuitable).

Instructions for posting:

Your posts should be your own personal reflections on or reactions to the reading and class discussions. Analyze the speech, essay or article, illustrate it through your own experience, refute it, get mad at it, question it, believe it, doubt it, go beyond it. These posts should demonstrate some serious effort and engaged thought. Some suggestions:

  • Make connections with your own experience. What does the reading make you think of? Does it remind you of anything or anyone?
  • Make connections with other texts or concepts or events. Do you see any similarities between this text (concepts, events) and other texts (concepts, events)? Does it bring to mind other related issues?
  • Ask yourself questions about the text: What perplexes you about a particular passage? Try beginning, “I wonder why…” or “I’m having trouble understanding how…,” or “It perplexes me that…,” or “I was surprised when….”
  • Try agreeing with the writer or filmmakers. Write down the supporting ideas. Try arguing with the writer. On what points, or about what issues, do you disagree? Think of this blog as a place to carry on a dialogue with the writer, or with the text, or with your classmates in which you actually communicate with them. Ask questions, and imagine various responses. What happens when you imagine yourself in the shoes of the writer, speaker, or your classmates?
  • End your post with an open question. It should be more specific than “what do you think?” Give the readers something clear that they can really consider and respond to.

On a week when you’re not posting to the blog, you are asked to read over what your classmates posted and comment on at least one post. Your comments should be specific and thought out. Don’t just write, “I agree” or “I disagree”; give some in-depth reasons why you responded to the post this way. Remember to be respectful – you are allowed to disagree or argue against your classmates assertions, but you are not allowed to be insulting or provocative just for the sake of provoking.

(*this applies to weeks during which there is no assignment due. You will be expected to write at least 5 posts and 5 comments, in total throughout the semester)

 Your blog writing can be informal but be sure to use proper grammar and check for spelling, punctuation, agreement, etc. Include links to any sources used to avoid plagiarism. Your posts should be 2-3 paragraphs** long.

To post to the blog: send an email to the address featured on your class webpage. Include your name in the subject line to be sure that the post will be attributed to you. To comment on your classmates’ posts, go through the blog itself. Again, be sure to include your name on your comment.

Remembet to check out the blog regularly; I will also post comments, updates and announcements there. This will be a great way for us to maintain our conversation both in and outside of the classroom.

(**a paragraph is approximately 3-5 or more sentences)


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