This course explores the strategic use of communication by individuals and groups to facilitate persuasion and change. Topics covered vary by instructor but may include theories of behavior and social change, strategic communication, interpersonal influence and diffusion, media advocacy and social marketing, argumentation, discourse and conflict.
This course is about communication for change. People, much like the groups, organizations and societies of which they are members, change continuously. Some of this change is unplanned and spontaneous, but much of it is deliberate and planned. While change can be pushed by different social actors (from social entrepreneurs, through social movements and to governments), communication remains the primary tool for facilitating change at different levels-individual, group and societal. Therefore, this course is designed to explore the strategic use of communication by individuals and groups to facilitate change processes. Topics covered include theories of behavior and social change and strategic communication approaches such as persuasive communication, interpersonal influence and diffusion, media advocacy and social marketing.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Understand fundamental persuasion concepts and theories.
- Apply persuasion theories and tools in a real world setting.
- Acquire basic skills and tools for evaluating persuasion efforts and for practicing persuasion ethically.
- Ability to apply theories and concepts in the explanation of human behavior and social processes.