Social Cultural

Courses in the pathway of social and cultural communication emphasize how meanings are communicated through symbolic processes in various mediated and unmediated contexts. Of central concern is how personal, social, and cultural identities are reflected and constructed through communicative processes.

Courses: Undergraduate students who wish to learn more about Social and Cultural Communication can enroll in the Department of Communication courses listed below.
COM 233 Introduction to Language and Society (5) VLPA
COM 270 Interpersonal Communication (5) VLPA/I&S
COM 289 Communication and Difference (5) I&S
COM 318 The Creative Advantage (5) I&S
COM 325 Communication, Cities, and Sustainability (5) I&S
COM 351 Interviewing Principles and Practices (5) VLPA/I&S
COM 359 Writing for Mass Media (5) I&S
COM 373 Communication in Small Groups (5) VLPA/I&S
COM 374 Perspectives on Language (5) VLPA/I&S
COM 376 Nonverbal Communication (5) VLPA/I&S
COM 378 Social Approaches to Interpersonal Communication
COM 389 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media (5) I&S,
COM 418  Com & Environment (5) (I&S)
COM 443 Indigenous Films, Sovereign Visions (5) VLPA/I&S
COM 444 Public Relations and Society (5) I&S
COM 451 Mass Media and Culture (5) VLPA/I&S
COM 472 Empirical Approaches to Interpersonal Communication (5) I&S
COM 473 Discussion Leadership (3) VLPA/I&S
COM 474 Communication, Conflict, and Cooperation (5) VLPA/I&S
COM 475 Organizational Communication (5) VLPA/I&S
COM 478 Intercultural Communication (5) I&S
COM 480 Communication in Adolescent Environments (5) VLPA/I&S
COM 482 Interpersonal Media (5) I&S
COM 484 Cultural Codes in Communication (5) VLPA/I&S
COM 488 Race, Gender, and Power in Asian American Media (5) I&S, DIV
COM 489 Black Cultural Studies (5) I&S
COM 490 Representing Beyond the Binaries: Mixing Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media (5) I&S,
COM 492 Re-Conceptualizing Communication and Difference Abroad (6) VLPA/I&S

Learn about Social and Cultural Communication from the faculty members who teach classes in this pathway.


Career Pathways: A degree in this pathway of Communication can lead to a variety of jobs. Below are a few options to get you thinking about where you want your career to start after graduation.

Industry: Public Relations

A career in public relations includes a dynamic combination of verbal and written communication, knowledge of and the ability to strategically work with the media, an eye for detail, and a keen sense of society and the public. Such careers often create and drive the outward image of an organization, and thus are crucial to an organization’s success and ability to standout. Social and Cultural Communication courses help students develop strong public speaking and writing skills, which are vital to the art of crafting strategic messages. These courses also help students build knowledge of how to communicate in a range of situations, including on an interpersonal or small-group level or on a larger scale, including the mass media.

Examples of professions on this career path:

  • Public relations/marketing Coordinator > Read about 2009 alumna Angeline Candido, who now works as a Marketing Coordinator for a small gift companyAngeline Candido 200x200 in Wallingford.
  • Media/public affairs specialist
  • Event coordinator
  • Brand representative/manager
  • Communication strategist
  • Community liaison
  • Fundraiser

To further prepare themselves, students may consider taking classes in the Foster School of Business Sales Certificate Program in order to advance their skills in marketing, sales, and business/organizational communication. Students may also find it helpful to get involved with the UW chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

Industry: Human Relations / Management

A career in human relations or management allows individuals to work in an interpersonal setting in diverse fields. Careers in human relations and management may also lead to leadership positions, and several alumni who have chosen this path work as either executives or community leaders.

Examples of professions on this career path:Alyssa Jensen

To further prepare for a career in human relations or management, students should also seek coursework in areas outside the department, including business, economics, and marketing. In addition, students may benefit from taken more specialized courses aimed at management and communication in the fields in which they hope to work, such as construction management, medicine, sales, etc.

Industry: Arts/Entertainment

A career in the arts offers several different opportunities to be involved in the production of culture, either working creatively as an artist in fields such as film, photography, or writing, or working on the business side of the entertainment industry, in either management or development.

Examples of professions on this career path:

  • Actor > Read about the successes of Christy Choi as she headed to L.A. after graduation.Kristin Hannah 200x200
  • Author (fiction/nonfiction) > Kristin Hannah (B.A., 1983) hit number one on the New York Times best seller list with her book “Home Front.”
  • Filmmaker/video producer
  • Grants manager
  • Photographer
  • Screenwriter/playwright

In order to better prepare for a career in the arts, students may consider taking coursework in the School of Art. In addition, students are encouraged to take specialized courses in fields such as drama, creative writing, film, and business depending on how they choose to direct their work in the arts. Students interested in furthering their education beyond the undergraduate degree may also consider attending a graduate program either inside or outside the field of communication.