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CMN 402

Theorizing Communication

1. Course Description

This foundational course introduces students to the main schools of thought that comprise communication theory. Its objectives are to understand the interdisciplinary complexity that constitutes communication studies, to appreciate how theories allow scholars to build a body of knowledge in an organized and synthesized way, and to explore how the theories presented have implications and applications in our own lives as communicators.

Last Revised

May 25, 2022


CMN 323. Note: This course is available only to Professional Communication students


Lecture: 3 hours

2. Course Objectives & Learning Outcomes

  • Students will focus on how communication theories inform contemporary communication, cultural, and economic practices and conventions
  • Students will demonstrate an enhanced understanding of communication theories in order to critique existing media platforms
  • Students will demonstrate proficiency in theoretical concepts and will be able to apply such concepts to the ethical issues and creative aspects of contemporary media platforms

3. Topics Covered

  • Media theories
  • Language theories
  • Theories of datafication
  • Critical theories of subjectivity
  • Rethinking labour and organizations
  • Globalization

4. Teaching Method


Evaluation Methods

At least three assignments.

5. Course Materials

Course reading package provided by the instructor.

6. Policy

6.1 University Policies

Students are required to adhere to all applicable university policies found in their Online course shell in D2L and the Course Outline Policies.

6.2 Print and Digital Copying Guidelines:

Toronto Metropolitan University complies with Canada’s ​Copyright Act​ which protects both creators/owners and users of copyrighted materials. Students should familiarize themselves with ​TMU Copyright policies and procedures​, and contact the Copyright and Scholarly Engagement Librarian at ​ ​for questions, concerns and clarification of the copyright rules. 

6.3 is a plagiarism prevention and detection service to which Toronto Metropolitan University subscribes. It is a tool that helps instructors determine the similarity between student work and the work of other students who have submitted papers to the site (at any university), Internet sources, and a wide range of books, journals, and other publications. While it does not contain all possible sources, it gives instructors some assurance that students’ work is their own. No decisions are made by the service; it generates an “originality report,” which instructors must evaluate to judge whether something is plagiarized.

Students agree by taking this course that their written work will be subject to submission for textual similarity review to  All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the reference database solely for the purpose of comparing the similarity of such papers.  Use of the service is subject to the terms-of-use agreement posted on the website.  Students who do not want their work submitted to this plagiarism detection service must, by the end of the second week of class, consult with their instructor to make alternative arrangements. Even when an instructor has not indicated that a plagiarism detection service will be used, or when a student has opted out of the plagiarism detection service, if the instructor has reason to suspect that an individual piece of work has been plagiarized, the instructor is permitted to submit that work in a non-identifying way to any plagiarism detection service.

6.4 Email Communication

Toronto Metropolitan University requires that any official or formal email communication from students be sent from their official Toronto Metropolitan University electronic accounts. 

6.5 Video and Audio Recording

No video or audio recording is permitted in class without the express permission of the instructor.

7. Learning Management System

Toronto Metropolitan University supports Brightspace by D2L as its official Learning Management System. University Policies governing Brightspace have been documented at the Courses @ Toronto Metropolitan University Privacy and Security website.

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