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Social Documentation

In this Section

Frances Weller Bailey, Director

Students whose interests are broad and flexible, with a broad span of interests, should seriously consider Clarkson's double major in Social Documentation (SD), combining majors in the Social Sciences (history, political science, anthropology and sociology) or Humanities (literature, film and philosophy) with a major in Communication & Media. 

SD students express a desire to combine social, political or creative perspectives with mastery of sophisticated communication and recording technologies. They may be interested in historical preservation of the creative arts or creating oral and video histories of people or groups of people; they may be social or political activists who want to create the sound and video recordings and products that most effectively put their ideas before a contemporary audience.

Social Documentation emphasizes critical inquiries into societal issues as well as the study of recording and documenting theories, techniques and technologies. A substantive knowledge base in a social science or humanities discipline enables students to ground their communication degree in an area of interest that will also give them a distinctive perspective. Likewise, the critical thinking, persuasive, and media production skills learned from the communication program will empower the social science or humanities major to more effectively create products that can influence, entertain or educate. During their years at Clarkson, students will develop the ability to use sophisticated recording and communication technologies in order to better understand or advance a set of social, historical, political or creative interests or concerns.

Employment
After graduation, students can find careers in public or private radio or television broadcasting, in media-oriented firms, and as or under a director of communications in the public or private sector. Many public agencies are charged with handling electronic and publicly available data sets, and this double major also provides the basics for such a career choice. Some may choose to pursue independent work as filmmakers and writers.

Alternately, students may decide to go on to graduate school in a growing number of Social Documentation programs at universities like Duke, American or UC Santa Cruz. Others may choose master's programs as diverse as creative arts study leading to an MFA or enter an MBA program. Graduates can also opt for master's or doctoral programs in social sciences, communication or humanities.

Curriculum
Students choosing this double major will begin with the Clarkson Common Experience, as detailed in the Clarkson Catalog. Additionally, they will satisfy all the requirements for each major, also as detailed in the catalog. The following requirements are specific to Social Documentation, but each will count as one of the requirements for one of the majors:

  • History of Social Documentation, a three-credit hour gateway course to the major, will introduce basic concepts and stress the connections between the two majors;
  • One three-credit hour research methods course, chosen from a list of approved courses;
  • One three-credit hour film course, chosen from a list of approved courses;
  • Two three-credit hour video production and digital design courses, chosen from a list of approved courses.
  • Two senior capstone courses, SD480 and SD490, will generally be taken sequentially. These will replace each department's normal capstone course and are designed specifically for SD majors.

The sample curriculum below indicates some examples of the kinds of courses that might be chosen by Social Documentation double majors, though individuals will personalize their curricula in order to meet their specific educational and career goals.

Social Documentation Sample Curriculum
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FIRST YEAR
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
  Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
COMM214 Computer Applications in Media
3
  COMM210 Theory of Rhetoric
3
SD200  History of Social Documentation
3
  COMM310 Mass Media and Society
3
MA180 Into College Mathematics
4
  HIST391 Documenting Social Activism
3
  Common Experience Science Course
3
  STAT282 General Statistics
3
UNIV190 Clarkson Seminar
3
    Common Experience Science Course
4
SS120 Introducing the Liberal Arts
1
     
line
FY100 First-Year Seminar
1
     
16
   
line
       
   
18
       
   
       
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SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
  Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
ANTH200 Intro. to Culture and Society
3
  ANTH320 Racial Inequity in the US
3
COMM327 Digital Video Production I
3
  COMM313 Professional Communication
3
COMM341 Introduction to Web Design
3
  COMM427 Digital Video Production II
3
HIST320 Medicine and Society in America
3
  FILM340 World in a Frame
3
PY151 Intro to Psychology
3
    Free Elective
3
   
line
     
line
   
15
     
15
   
     
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JUNIOR YEAR
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
  Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
ANTH385 Food and Society
3
  COMM221 2D Design
3
COMM320 Photography
3
  COMM428 Public Debate and the Environment
3
COMM345 Information Architecture
3
  HIST395 Oral History
3
POL351 Globalization
3
    Common Curriculum Technology Course
3
  Computer Course
3
    Free Elective
3
   
line
     
line
   
15
     
15
   
     
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SENIOR YEAR
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
  Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
SD480 Research Project and Internship
3
  SD490 Research Project and Internship
3
COMM410 Theory and Philosophy of Communication
3
    Free Electives
12
SOC350 International Development and Social Change
3
     
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  Free Electives
6
     
15
   
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15