Communication and Social Structure

This course analyzes the links between social structure and popular forms of communication like rumor, gossip and humor. How do group formation and social hierarchies facilitate rumor, gossip and humor? In turn, how do rumor, gossip and humor reflect social inequality, socio-political values, dynamics of conflict, and organizational environments? How do cultural forms of communication (satire, parody, irony, camp) underscore gender, ethnic, religious, political and national divisions? What constitutes the offensive, the derogatory, the taboo? What is the impact of hate humor on social life in regard to free speech, artistic expression and social order?

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