Sociology of Communication and Information
Cod: 41114
Department: DCSG
Scientific area: Sociology
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

The subject aims to support students to develop knowledge on the social impact of information in modern societies, based on main theories on mass communication and on information society. From the upsurge and expansion of the modern mass media, in the first half of the 20th century, until the age of information, produced by globalization and new technologies, information includes multiple dimensions. In a first stage, students are guided to understand information as framed by prominent communication theories, developed in the 20th century. In a second stage, the notion of information society, as well as other associated notions as knowledge society and network society, will be de-constructed, based on different sociological theories, as well as some studies on the impacts of this informational model in different dimensions of social life, including the info-exclusion, the surveillance and the media education.


•    To develop a sociological perspective on information and knowledge;
•    To be aware of the main sociological theories on information and knowledge;
•    To articulate the mass communication with the notion of ideology and with the process of social construction of reality;
•    To de-construct the notions of information society, knowledge society and network society;
•    To use the information and knowledge theories in local contexts and in social sciences professional practices.

1.The sociological perspective on information and knowledge
1.1 The constructivist approach
1.2 The functionalist perspective
1.3 From mass communication to the network society

2.Comunication and information
2.1 The social production of news
2.2 Ideology, objectivity and agenda setting
2.3 Ethics and journalists’ regulation

3. Info-exclusion and media education
3.1 Inequalities and gaps in information access
3.2 Media literacy
3.3 Media education: policies and practices

4. Challenges from the information society
4.1 The network society, in Portugal
4.2 Surveillance and freedom in Internet
4.3 Capitalism, property and open access to information

Barreiros, José (2012). Democracia, Comunicação e Media. Lisboa: Mundos Sociais.
Cardoso, Gustavo et al. (2015). A Sociedade em Rede em Portugal: Uma Década de Transição. Lisboa: CIES-IUL.
Castells, Manuel (2009). A Sociedade em Rede. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
Santos, José de Almeida (2012). Media e Poder. Lisboa: Nova Vega.
Wolf, Mauro (1999). Teorias da Comunicação. Lisboa: Presença.

Note: the key working texts will be available in the virtual classroom.

Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 or 3 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a presence-based final exam (p-folio) in the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final presence-based exam (100%).