Preface: In an effort to be more reflective and public about my teaching, I am trying to find time to blog about my courses. I will keep these relatively abstract so as to protect my students’ right to privacy, and they will all be written somewhat hurriedly to try and offer a brief way to collect and distribute thoughts and connections I find meaningful. Please forgive any lack of precision or rigor, and please accept this as an invitation for further conversation.
This past week in my undergraduate Critical-Cultural Communication Theory course, we have worked through what the concept of culture means, and how this concept can help orient the study of communication. I had students read Raymond Williams, “Culture is Ordinary,” and James W. Carey, “A Cultural Approach to Communication.”
The idea here was to help students see that theory does not have to be abstract, but works best when we ground it in lived experience, and use it to create larger understandings of complicated phenomena.
There were two main nuggets I hoped students would get to take away with them as we started this course: