Ibero-American Studies: Master's Program 'Communication and Society in Ibero-America'Course Catalog Winter Semester 2022/2023
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Practical: Transversal Approaches to Ibero-American-Studies (for HCIAS first semester students)
This course is an introduction to the M.A. program “Communication and Society in Ibero-America” at the HCIAS and is designed as an orientation for first semester students. Course participants engage with the content structure of the program and the interrelationships of the first semester courses. They build a basic understanding of the interaction of the key concepts of the study program.
Lecture: Latin American Politics
This lecture introduces students to the key theoretical concepts and the main empirical questions of Latin American politics. It provides students with a broad understanding of the political systems and the social and economic challenges in the macro-region of Ibero-America. Against the backdrop of the enormous political and social diversity in the region, this lecture explores the causes and functioning of different institutional structures and their impact on politics and society.
The course counts as a lecture for module 1.
Seminar: Socioenvironmental change: Resource extraction, land use change, and sustainable development in Latin America
The appropriation of nature by humans via technologies/knowledge or language is inextricably bound to social relations. In this seminar students learn about theoretical approaches in social science research to conceptualize society-nature relations and analyse socioenvironmental change in Latin America. In particular, we will engage with literature from human geography, political ecology, science and technology studies, development studies, political science, and on social movements. Further, we will discuss concepts and empirical studies related to socioecological inequalities and conflicts, extractivism, and sustainable development, and engage with current debates on climate change, nature conservation, and renewable energies.
The course counts as a seminar for module 2.
Seminar: Theories of Social Change: Contributions from Latin America
Despite robust scientific evidence and mobilized civil society calling attention to the contemporary situation of a multidimensional crisis (ecological, economic, political, sanitary, etc) on a global scale, the societal change required to address these challenges is long overdue. How can the social sciences help to understand the various societal projects under dispute about how a great transformation should look like? Social change, a foundational topic of sociological thinking, has received renewed attention under new names such as theories of transition and transformation research, and has been mostly widely discussed in relation to the environmental dimension in what has been called socio-ecological transitions. The global entangled inequalities involved in such multiple crises must be taken into account in theoretical and political debates, because the crises do not affect all equally and the transformations involved to tackle them also will look differently according to the world region, and where social actors are located at the intersection of class, gender, race, nationality. This course will discuss Latin American theories on crises and transformation and their contribution to global theoretical and political debates on contemporary processes of social change.
This course counts as a seminar for module 1.
Seminar: Communication and Public Spheres in Ibero-America
This seminar studies the public sphere, comprised of the media, civil society, and politics, and looks at their relationships from a communication perspective. The seminar, therefore, introduces a selective conceptual vocabulary that is regarded as instrumental to understanding the communicators of political information, such as journalists or today’s ‘users’. Further, the seminar discusses characteristics that typically guide the content of political information and serve to uncover structures of the communication itself. Moreover, the effects of communication are discussed applying approaches from media effects research.
The seminar sets a strong emphasis on the context communication takes place, on three dimensions: Firstly, it focuses on the Ibero-American context and regional case studies inform about public sphere mechanisms around actors, content, and reception in the macro-region. Secondly, the public spheres are studied under conditions of deeply changed media environments shaped by the production and use of online media. Thirdly, the seminar addresses current debates on societal processes, such as the polarization of the public sphere, that are suspected to be fueled by virulent online communication (e.g., hate speech).
This course counts as a seminar for module 3.
Practical: Latino migration in the U.S.: culture, language and identity
Over the last decades, Latin-American and Caribbean migration to the U.S. has not only significantly increased (one out of every five U.S. residents is Latino) but has diversified both in its origins and in its demographic, social, ethnic, linguistic and cultural composition. After briefly presenting the demographics of the Latin-American and Caribbean migration to the U.S. and its evolution since 1970, we will discuss the ongoing dynamics of the Latino communities in the country. The aim of the course is to provide conceptual and methodological tools to explore in an interdisciplinary way the new spaces of Latin-American migration and its heterogeneities; the processes of identity and hybridization; the (digital) media of the Latino diaspora and its representations; the dynamics of cultural expressions and consumption; and the linguistic practices, with special attention to intergenerational dynamics. The course will combine theoretical discussion with case studies such as the politics of labeling Latino communities, the new latinidades and their representation in Netflix and YouTube, and the rise of new forms of delocalized Spanish.
This course counts as a practical for module 3.
Seminar: Qualitative Methods: semi-structured interviews and participatory observation
In this seminar, students will learn about approaches and methodologies in the social sciences and engage with qualitative research methods and techniques. In particular, students will conduct semi-structured interviews or do participatory observation of an event. Further, students will discuss how to design and implement a research project as preparation for final theses.
This course counts towards module 4 or 7.
Seminar: Quantitative Methods: Data analysis with R
This course provides students with knowledge in quantitative methods for the investigation of central questions in the area of communication and societies in Latin America. The aim of the course is to enable the participants to conduct independent empirical analyses using the statistical software R. The central topics of the seminar are univariate, bivariate and first multivariate analysis methods, as well as the graphical and tabular presentation of empirical results.
This course counts for module 4 or 7.
Seminar: Lenguas, comunicación y discursos de Iberoamérica II
El curso presenta la diversidad y la variación lingüísticas, las prácticas comunicativas y el papel de estas prácticas en la construcción de las sociedades de los países hispanohablantes. Ello permitirá al estudiante llevar a cabo actuaciones sociales y políticas con criterios adecuados a la realidad sociocultural iberoamericana. Se tratan particularmente cuestiones esenciales sobre las lenguas y sus usos en distintos espacios sociales, tanto en España como en Iberoamérica. Asimismo, se analiza cómo las lenguas de España e Iberoamérica han alcanzado una presencia social y mediática, y cómo son las actuales posiciones sobre la diversidad lingüística del espacio hispanohablante. Asimismo, se analiza cómo y en qué medida el uso de las lenguas y las prácticas discursivas contribuyen a la creación de identidades en el espacio iberoamericano.
This course counts as a seminar for module 5 (knowledge deepening on communication and society).
Seminar: Struggles for hegemony in contemporary Brazil
Brazil is currently going through several simultaneous crises. Politically, democratic institutions are under pressure at least since the parliamentary-mediatic-judiciary coup in 2016, and even more so, since January 2019 with the election of a president from the far-right. Economically, the stagnation that has persisted since 2015 has deepened not only by the Covid-19 pandemics, but even more so by the uncertainties in the social policies responsible for reducing poverty in the first decade of the century. In terms of health policy, the political downplaying of the pandemic has led to the uncontrolled spread of the Corona virus. Ecologically, deliberate weaking of environmental regulations and institutions legitimate environmental crimes and the violation of rights of Indigenous communities. Socially, the new right movements have generated a climate of hate and disrespect against progressive social movements, Black populations, women and feminist movements, LGBTQ* groups, etc. These multiple crises are interdependent and deepen each other, leading the country more and more into a dystopian impasse. The course analyses these multiple crises with academic text discussions as well as various media sources, including roundtables, podcasts, tv shows and newsmedia.
This course counts as a seminar for module 5 (knowledge deepening for modules 1 and 2).
Key Transversal Skills
Practical: Practicing quantitative data analysis
Many of the questions we ask in social sciences in general and communication science, in particular, require the collection and analysis of quantitative data. This practical introduces into basic data analysis with the statistical software package SPSS. After beginning with some methodological introduction (e.g., on formulating hypotheses) and basic statistics, the practical provides how-to-knowledge on creating SPSS codes, allowing modification and analysis of social science data sets. Analysis sessions, for example, include comparing means (t-tests) or testing relationships between two or more variables (correlation analysis, regression analysis). The course is structured as a “block seminar” that combines input and practice sessions and where students are engaged to create and run their own SPSS codes in monitored self-practice sessions. Students of this practice can apply their basic SPSS skills in future empirical term papers.
This course counts towards module 7 or 8.
Practical: Análisis y producción audiovisual de las series iberoamericanas
La nueva edad de oro de la industria audiovisual en español: mercados, narrativas y públicos.
- Tema 1: Situación de la industria audiovisual española
- Tema 2: Características definitorias del audiovisual español e iberoamericano
- Tema 3: El cine como embajador cultural de un país. El caso de Pedro Almodóvar
- Tema 4: Las series como motor de la industria. ¿Cómo se hace una serie?
- Tema 5: Creación de contenidos. Análisis del audiovisual iberoamericano a través del podcast
This course counts as a practical for module 8.
ADDITIONAL COURSE OFFERINGS
Variedades de la lengua española
For a Critical Sociology of Climate Change