Sociology 530z

Comparative History of Communications and Culture

Professor Paul Starr

Fall 1997, First half of semester.
Tuesdays, 1-4 p.m.

Course Information

Where to find the readings:


September 16. Introduction
Michael Schudson, "Political Communication," in Erik Barnouw et al., International Encyclopedia of Communications (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 304-313.

September 23. Comparative development of literacy
Jack Goody and Ian P. Watt, "The Consequences of Literacy," Comparative Studies in History and Society 5 (1963), 304-45.
Roger Chartier, "The Practical Impact of Writing," in Roger Chartier ed., A History of Private Life, v. 3: Passions of the Renaissance (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989), 111-159.
Carl F. Kaestle, "Studying the History of Literacy" and "The History of Readers," in Carl F. Kaestle et al., Literacy in the United States (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), 3-72.

September 30. Comparative development of the print media
Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, "Some Conjectures about the Impact of Printing on Western Society and Thought: A Preliminary Report," Journal of Modern History (1968), 1-56.
Robert Darnton, The Literary Underground of the Old Regime (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982), pp. 167-208 ("Reading, Writing and Publishing").
Anthony Smith, The Newspaper: An International History (London: Thames and Hudson, 1979).

October 7. Comparative Sociology of Postal and Telecommunications Networks
Richard R. John, Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse (Harvard University Press, 1995), Chs 1-2.
Claude S. Fischer, America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940 (University of California Press, 1992), 33-85, 255-272.
S. Frederick Starr, "New Communications Technologies and Civil Society," in Loren Graham, ed., Science and the Soviet Social Order (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), 19-50.
Raymond M. Duch, Privatizing the Economy: Telecommunications Policy in Comparative Perspective (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991), Chs. 3-4, 7.

October 14. Comparative and Global Development of Broadcasting
Eli Noam, Television in Europe (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), Chs. 1-3.
Daniel C. Hallin, "Speaking of the President: Political Structure and Representational Form in U.S. and Italian Television News," in Hallin's We Keep America on Top of the World: Television Journalism and the Public Sphere (New York: Routledge, 1994), 113-32.
Richard Parker, Mixed Signals: The Prospects for Global Television News (New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1996), 1-87.

October 21. The new media in comparative perspective
Gladys D. Ganley, "Power to the People via Personal Electronic Media," Washington Quarterly (Spring 1991), pp. 5-14.
S.E. Goodman, et al., "The Global Diffusion of the Internet: Patterns and Problems," Communications of the ACM 37 (August 1994), 27-31.
Erran Carmel, "American Hegemony in Packaged Software Trade and the 'Culture of Software,'" The Information Society 13: 1 (January-March, 1997), 125-142.
Robert H. Anderson, Tora K. Bikson, Sally Ann Law, and Bridger M. Mitchell, Universal Access to E-mail: Feasibility and Societal Implications (RAND Corporation, 1995), Chs. 1-2, 6.

Last modified, September 4, 1997.
Copyright 1997 by Paul Starr.