Theories in Information and Communication

lcomu1211  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Theories in Information and Communication
5 credits
30.0 h + 20.0 h

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 The aim of this course is to give the student a base of theoretical skills in the field of the communication. In this way, it joins a logic of specialization following the course of Communication and Information I. The student will be brought to understand the concepts and the methods of the main research currents. Beyond the simple identification of the diverse theories of the communicational approach, the student will be able to place them among the analysis currents of the contemporary world.
The course provides a systematic and critical review of the essential conceptual components and major founding theories of ICS. It shows the articulations between the theories and the authors of reference (founders) to draw the constitutive lines of ICS, since its origins. The course seeks to embed ICS as a disciplinary and interdisciplinary field within the social sciences and humanities, articulating the discovery of ICS with other courses in the information and communication curriculum, and demonstrating how ICS can play a unifying role within the broad area of humanities and social sciences study.
The course is structured in several chapters (non-chronological):
Chapter 0: Introduction
Chapter 1: The evolution of human communication systems
Chapter 2: Functionalist Models of Information
Chapter 3: Making Signs
Chapter 4: Industrialization and Mass Culture
Chapter 5: Limited Effects Theory
Chapter 6: Theory of Opinion and Public Space
Chapter 7: Cultural Studies
Chapter 8: From the Telegraph to the Band(wo)man
Chapter 9: Communication professions
Chapter 10: Synthesis and conclusion on some issues 
Teaching methods
The theoretical course is given in the form of ex-cathedra sessions. At the beginning of some session, a Q/R moment may be organised on the basis of the previous material in order to evaluate the progress in the understanding of the theories. 
The practical work (TP) associated with the course is intended for Block 1 (COMU1BA) students only. They aim at accompanying the students in the reading of texts related to information and communication theories. The practical work is organised in the form of a reversed class: students are asked to work on chapters of a reference book (L'explosion de la Communication: Introduction aux théories et aux pratiques de la communication by Philippe Breton and Serge Proulx), which will then be discussed during the sessions. The student will be continuously assessed during the practical work (TP) on his or her mastery of the different chapters, through several modalities (reading cards, quizzes, tests, etc.).
Evaluation methods
For the course: written exam, including open, semi-open or closed questions on the material covered in the course.
For the exercises (COMU1BA): active participation in the practical exercises and regular evaluations during the year, in connection with the readings.
  • For COMU1BA students, the practical exercises are worth 40% of the final grade, the remaining 60% is assessed by the examination.
  • For the other students (outside COMU1BA), the examination is composed of 60% of questions on knowledge of the subject and 40% of open questions on reflection on the subject based on additional readings.
Second session
The second session exam is worth 100% of the grade and is only based on knowledge and understanding.
Other information
The course does not have a syllabus but is made up of a set of presentation materials and resources accessible on the course's Moodle platform (text portfolio, exercises and quizzes, etc.). The content presented orally is part of the course material and the student must therefore ensure that he/she is up to date on the material presented. 
  • O. Aïm, & S. Billiet (coord.) (2015), Communication, Paris : Dunod. 
  • D. Bougnoux (2001 [1998]), Introduction aux sciences de la communication, Paris : La Découverte (coll. Repères).
  • P. Breton, & S. Proulx (2006 [2002]), L'explosion de la Communication: Introduction aux théories et aux pratiques de la communication, Paris : La Découverte (coll. Repères).
  • Y. Jeanneret (2011 [2000]), Y a-t-il (vraiment) des technologies de l'information ?, Paris : Septentrion.
  • J. Lohisse (1998), Les systèmes de communication : approche socio-anthropologique, Paris : Armand Colin.
  • A. & M. Mattelart (1995 [1977]), Histoire des théories de la Communication, Paris : La Découverte (coll. Repères).
  • E. Maigret (2015 [2003]), Sociologie de la Communication et des Médias, Paris : Armand Colin.
  • J.-P. Meunier, & D. Peraya (2010 [1997]), Introduction aux théories de la communication, Bruxelles : De Boeck Supérieur.  
  • Y. Winkin (dir.) (2000 [1981]), La nouvelle Communication, Paris : Ed. du Seuil.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [60] in History of Art and Archaeology: Musicology

Bachelor in Information and Communication

Master [120] in History of Art and Archaeology: Musicology

Minor in Information and Communication