Decoding Social and Streaming Media

Summer 2022

Session Dates: July 17 - July 30, 2022

Location: On-Campus

Decoding the economics, psychology and politics of social and streaming media.

We have become digital creatures. Younger users, in particular, routinely use their devices to engage friends, develop romantic relationships, make purchases, consume media content, play games, and keep up with current events. Research, including studies conducted by major digital media companies themselves, suggests our individual and collective-level relationships with these digital platforms has become unhealthy. Social media is routinely blamed for everything from political instability across the globe to teen mental health and emotional wellbeing.

But, are the devices and platforms themselves the problem or should we look more closely and critically at our relationships with them?

In this course, we will blend insights and research from media economics, political theory and social psychology to inform our exploration of how digital media devices and platforms (as well as their inventors and investors) shape both how we understand ourselves as well as our relationships with one another.

For instance, we’ll consider topics such as the economics of outrage as an audience engagement tactic, the social psychology of impression management, and the politics of filter bubbles and the public sphere. And, we’ll debate complex ethical questions raised by geotracking and surveillance technologies, the influencer economy, algorithmic decision making, anonymous hate speech, as well as other emerging digital technology issues.

The topics and activities in this course will guide students to develop healthier relationships with their devices and will create future opportunities by helping students focus on career pathways that could contribute positive change to this growing segment of our global economy.

Dive Deeper

  • LMU is planning to offer in-person pre-college summer programs in 2022. Decoding Social and Streaming Media will be a residential program on LMU's Los Angeles-area campus. There are no commuter options at this time - all participants are required to live on campus for the duration of their program.

    • Evaluate students' personal relationships with social media.
    • Debate and apply key economic, media and social psychology theories to digital mediascapes.
    • Develop information literacy and research skills, including how to search for and synthesize information from across a variety of contexts, including scholarly, government and media industry databases.
  • Application Fee: $65

    2022 Program Cost: $5,100

    The program cost includes:

    • Tuition for two-week, non-credit course
    • Housing and meals for two weeks
    • Course materials
    • Use of campus recreation facilities
    • Class field trips
    • Two weekend social trips off campus

    For additional information about program tuition and fees and payment options, please visit our Fees Page

  • This class is open to rising high school juniors and seniors. 


    • Online Application
    • Personal Essay: Read the Prompt Now
    • Letter of Recommendation from a teacher or counselor
    • High School Transcripts
    • $65 Application Fee
    • TOEFL Scores (for International applicants whose primary language is not English)



Create the World You Want to Live In

Pre-College applications are still open for this program. Please reach out to with questions about your application.