CPT-32806 Change, Inter-human Processes and Communication


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Excursion (one day)8
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. IM Buizer
Lecturer(s)DME van Muijden
JR de Vries
dr. IM Buizer
Examiner(s)dr. IM Buizer

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

CPT-12306 Introduction to Strategic Communication, or CPT-23804 Introduction to Communication and Innovation Studies M, or CPT-3AA06 Integral Approaches in Communication, Health and Life Sciences, or CPT-37306 Politics of Knowledge and Inclusive Innovation.

Continuation courses:

MSc Thesis Strategic Communication; MSc Thesis Knowledge, Technology and Innovation.


Recognising that social transformation processes are complex and difficult to fully grasp, this course delves into the variety of ways by which change can be understood, and the role of communication therein. We are interested in the links between change and communication: in how communication (between people, in organisations or between them, locally and/or globally) can intentionally or unintentionally produce change, or vice versa. Questions such as those relating to power, institutions, roles of materiality (how ‘things’ communicate), everyday social practices, knowledge and behaviour will help us explore the underlying mechanisms of change.

Processes of change are often understood in terms of time. Time is the evident dimension when thinking about change and clearly present in all kinds of theories on transitions. Space is the less frequently addressed dimension, yet as Doreen Massey says, “Space is the dimension of coexisting difference. And that is both a source of nourishment, and a challenge.” In this course we explore what this means, if and how this is so. We delve into social space and how we are living together, and how difference and inequalities are produced. We will thus consider space and time as intimately connected, that should both receive attention when theorizing and deliberating about change.

We distinguish between different mediums of communication: ‘text, talk and things’ as together these shape inter-human processes and change and/or stability. Conversely, we look into how people mobilize texts such as policy documents and the (social) media, how people engage in conversations that engender trustful relationships or rather the opposite, or how communication occurs through material objects, such as art or other physical entities.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- compare and contrast relevant concepts and theories concerning change, inter-human processes and communication ;
develop a conceptual framework, consisting of an integration of well-chosen concepts and theories for analysing real-life experiences and practices related to change, inter-human processes and communication;
- compose a scientifically sound essay in which a problem, event or phenomenon is analysed from your conceptual framework.


The course consists of 12 meetings of three lecture/tutorial hours each including a one day excursion. In groups, students will write blogs and comment on each others’ views as presented in their blogs, and develop interactive exercises to further practice with the course contents. An individual essay will finalize the course.


- essay grade (60%)
- blogging/commenting grade (20%)
- design of exercises (20%)
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass. To pass this course, participation in the excursion is required, unless an alternative assignment has been agreed with the course coordinator.


Material for reading/viewing/listening will be provided.

Compulsory for: MIDInternational Development StudiesMScC: Spec. C - Inclusive Innovation, Communication & Development5AF
Restricted Optional for: MDRDevelopment and Rural InnovationMSc5AF
MCHCommunication, Health and Life SciencesMScB: Spec. B. - Health and Society5AF
MCHCommunication, Health and Life SciencesMScA: Spec. A - Communication and Innovation5AF