Psychology of Persuasion in the Mass Media: From Advertising to Propoganda

Universidad de Sevilla

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Psychology of Persuasion in the Mass Media: From Advertising to Propoganda

  • Host University

    Universidad de Sevilla

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Communication Studies, Intercultural Communications, International Studies, Political Science

  • Language Level


    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Although Publicity and Propaganda are not new, there is no doubt that the Twentieth Century witnessed
    their explosive impact and development, to an unforeseeable extent, all of this linked with the no less spectacular
    development of the mass media in the field of communication, especially Cinema, the Radio, and, finally,
    In this sense, we consider that both Propaganda and Publicit are best understood as a specific kind of
    commnication, the purpose of which may be set within the sphere of persuasive discourses marked by both
    economic and ideological aims.
    While, as indicated, it is the Twentieth Century and, as matters stand, the Twenty-First, which provide
    Publicity and Propaganda with their unique framework, this Coursewill begin with a brief historical
    overview which willallow students tobring into focus this subject-matter and its contextualization.
    Following on from this, a study will be made of the key discursive strategies by means of which both Publicity and
    Propaganda aim to make their objectives prevail. Within this section, what will be highlighted in the main is the
    exploration of the use made by them of metaphors, symbolic forms, myths, and religion as ways of empowering
    the effectiveness of their discourses.
    Finally, consideration will be given to less usual, or indirect – and, therefore, more persuasive – manifestations of
    Propaganda, as seen especially in the form of Cinema and Literature, without forgetting Comic-books and TV
    Basically speaking, then, rather than the mere accumulation of information and unconnected data, this Course
    endeavors to be of use in stimulating students, as individuals, to reflect upon a key issue in the lives of modern
    men and women.

    This Course aims to counteract student passivity, especially as a result of the way in which its
    content impinges upon him or her as both a person and a citizen. In order to encourage active
    participation, the theoretical, explanatory classes will always be based on practical back-up: class
    debates, the screening of, and commentary on, documentaries and movies, the ad hoc reading of texts
    linked to sessions of discussion and analysis, together with the reviewing of other texts and articles that
    will be brought to hand.
    The actual back-up material to be used in practical sessions (keeping in mind the variations which might
    be introduced, when apt, as the Course develops) will include:
    Videos and Movies (full-length or clips): The Great Dictator (C. Chaplin), Cabaret (B. Fosse), Apocalypse
    Now (F. Coppola), Schindler’s List (S. Spielberg), Triumph of the Will (L. Riefenstahl), Los Santos Inocentes
    (M. Camus), La lengua de las mariposas (J. L. Cuerda), El día de la Bestia (A. de la Iglesia)
    Books: 1984 (G.Orwell), Farenheit 451 (R. Bradbury), Animal Farm (G. Orwell), Zero and the Infinite (A.
    Koestler), All Quiet on the Western Front (E. M. Remarque), Qué me quieres amor (M. Rivas)
    1. Definition: the Discourse of Persuasion in Mass Culture.
    2. Propaganda vis à vis Publicity: from Politics to the Marketplace.
    3. From their Origins to Modernity
    4. The Nineteenth Century: The Masses Gain Protagonism
    5. The Twentieth Century: from the Russian Revolution to Globalization and the ‘End of History’.
    6. Publicity: from the Factual to the Symbolic.
    7. The Ideology of Publicity, Ideology in Publicity.
    8. Propaganda: Ideas, Convictions, and Blind Spots.
    9. Myth, Religion, and Propaganda.
    10. Other Forms of Propagands: Movies, Comicbooks, TV.
    11. Literature and Propaganda.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.


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