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    Saybrook University
  Mar 03, 2024
2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Transformative Social Change, Social Impact Media Specialization, M.A.

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Students in Transformative Social Change MA program may opt to declare a Specialization in Social Impact Media.


The first two decades of the 21st century have seen radical changes in the fields of technology, media, journalism, and social change. Social change efforts around the world have been dramatically enhanced by the introduction of new media technologies that enable activists to connect with each other and communicate their ideas more effectively.

This dynamic environment requires that social change activists become skillful storytellers who have the following capacities:

  • Possess an understanding of the power of narrative to engage the public in collective action
  • Able to utilize emergent forms of media engagement, community building, and social change
  • Demonstrate a rich understanding of transformative social change processes in general
  • Have the capacity to assess the impact and engagement level of social change efforts

Social Impact Media students expand their scholar‐‐practitioner‐‐activist skills to include a deep knowledge of communication technology and its ability to cross cultural and geographic boundaries, uniting individuals and employing new technologies in the service of social change. Students in this Specialization will participate in the creation of media tools and develop technology‐‐driven campaigns to bring about measurable impact on specific movements and social causes. Students are provided with a theoretical grounding in transformative social change from which to explore and address specific concerns. These range from local issues such as violence prevention in schools to broader global civil society issues, such as social justice, peace, human rights, democratization, and multiculturalism.

Social Impact Media Specializations students will include social activists, media producers, impact researchers and critical thinkers who become able to more fully explore, produce and analyze the power of media to create impact across cultures and within societies. This Specialization is a laboratory for students to develop a deeper understanding of the history and contemporary use of media to create powerful social change campaigns. It is an incubator where students develop the skills to create their own forms of media and outreach campaigns as well as identify effective metrics for measuring impact.

Social Impact Media Specialization (SIM) Learning Outcomes:

Graduates with a specialization in SIM will have successfully achieved the following outcomes:

1. Demonstrate leadership skills related to project development, stewardship and management focused on media projects and teams.

2. Construct stories and strategies of change that are grounded in humanistic values.

3. Analyze the relationship between media and cultural and social change.

4. Differentiate stories of change that are inclusive of global, multicultural, multi‐generational social and environmental viewpoints.

5. Examine the intersection of one’s own values and affected communities through developing a reflective and empathetic approach to stories of change.

Program Requirements

Total Credits: 33-36

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