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COMM 2094: Communication and Issues of Diversity

This course explores both established and new communication theories to help students across disciplines investigate, understand, and manage issues related to increasingly diverse populations. The course focuses on representations of diversity in the media and their effects on group, social, and workplace communication. In this course, students will explore their own identities, traits, and abilities to document examples of diversity in communication. Students will analyze ways media decisions affect their own disciplines and work environments.

Why take it?

The social context of media affects the ways that people communicate and are understood in their group, social, and workplace settings. Students from all disciplines must be media literate to take part in a 21st-century economy. To be media literate, students must be diversity literate. Students who are able to acknowledge and articulate an understanding of their own intersectionality in the context of the mainstream U.S. media will be well-positioned to argue for equity in and access to representation within a variety of media channels. This ability to advocate will serve students well in their individual personal ambitions as well as in their more collective civic social lives as they seek to carry out Virginia Tech’s mission, Ut Prosim.


Prerequisite: COMM 1016 or ENGL 1106

This course fulfills Pathways requirements in Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States and Intercultural and Global Awareness.

"There's a great deal of talk in professional settings these days about the need for diversity, as well as the need for equity and inclusion, but time and again, I find that folks neglect to realize themselves not only as part of the diversity about which we speak but also as actors in the systems that keep things at status quo. White people, in particular, seem to want to "be able to help others" when it comes to diversity, which misses the point entirely, right? The person in that scenario clearly still sees themself as the holder of agency for another instead of as the person who needs to see the diverse ways in which others experience the world and who needs to change their own ways of thinking, seeing, and being to shift the status quo. Each of us may or may not be a part of a group that has historically been misrepresented, but unless and until we each acknowledge our own intersectionality--our own ways of knowing and being in this world; our own worldviews; our own family stories and individual perceptions--and that this is only a tiny part of the much larger fabric in the tapestry of America's diversity, we won't truly be able to envision the entire quilt we're creating."

- Susan C. Stinson, M.F.A.
Instructor and New Student Coordinator, School of Communication

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