Looking back on this semester, I can hardly believe the time that has past. I am in even more disbelief at this moment than I was on the day when Dr. Delwiche announced to the class that the semester was already 24% completed. Though during class we reviewed several different topics and concepts concerning modern day forms of media, I must say that the last few readings regarding Postmodernism have been extremely intriguing. The concepts are indeed abstract, though the idea that we “remake ourselves over and over again” to keep up with the ever-changing fads and trends stood out to me. Intertwined with this idea is the concept of simulation as “the way that the Real is effectively reproduced.” This reading by Shaviro is certainly very dense and though I feel I understand the main ideas, I am looking forward to the next few classes when we will get to unpack the world of postmodernism where even the concept of “truth” becomes invalid.
I’d have to say that the readings in this course were all very interesting, however, I did find the Vance Packard reading to be a bit far-fetched. I particularly thought that the reasoning given for why people like soup in relation its similarities to the comfort of the womb was a very strange theory. Being a psychology major, I will admit that I scoffed at times at the lengths to which Freudian concepts were being stretched. However, I still found this reading to be entertaining and I understood the underlying message that there are psychological motivations that can be used to effectively entice consumers through advertising.
As for next semester, I really am not sure what to expect besides the fact that I definitely need to brush up on my Spanish, and maybe even dabble in a little Quechua. I made a sort of spontaneous decision to study abroad in Cochabamba, Bolivia during the spring, but I am now more excited than ever. I will be studying the Bolivian culture and history, as well as examining the effects of globalization, multiculturalism, and social change on the indigenous communities and Bolivian society. As far as themes for future classes in COMM 2302, I think that perhaps examining social media mediums such as Twitter or Facebook could be interesting, especially with the rise of these sites as sources of news. Twitter has recently added a “Moments” tab where tweets regarding the latest current events are compiled to tell the story of that event. I think that these more formal methods of news and current events combined with these social media sites that are accessible by anyone could provide an interesting space for communication that is limited to 140 character blurbs.