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School of Social Sciences

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BAEcon Economics
Learn how the social sciences can help you to understand today's world.

BAEcon Economics / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Media, Culture & Society

Unit code SOCY10441
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Sociology
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course examines a series of concepts that are key to understanding modern society: The ideas of culture; ideology and hegemony; discourse; media aesthetics, and digital convergence are all examined in depth. Class discussions investigate the history of communications techniques; the implication of media in the workings of power in modern societies; the politics of media aesthetics; the role of audiences in shaping media, and the impact of digital technologies. Specific examples are introduced to clarify the main ideas, including: the printing press; nineteenth century visual entertainments; early and avant garde films; fan-fiction, and computer games.


' To interrogate common sense assumptions of media influence against sociological explanations of the way the media works.
- To introduce the critical analysis of media and cultural forms through the study of industries and organizations, public discourse and politics, technology, and subcultures.
- To introduce key concepts, such as 'representation', 'ideology', 'political economy', 'consumer culture'.
- To understand the relationship between the state, media and the public
- To develop an appreciation of the significance of media and culture in contemporary social and political life.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students will be able to:
- comprehend and critically analyse the development of media and culture in sociological perspective.
- Situate contemporary phenomena within the broader problematic of modernity.
- Identify social and political dimensions within contemporary media artefacts.
- Make imaginative and critical use of ideas and concepts to develop arguments.

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly lectures
Course outlines provides directed reading and specific question for tutorials

Assessment methods

1 non-assessed essay - 1,500 words
4 small non-assessed seminar-based assignments, each no longer than 400 words
1 exam - 100%
A penalty of 5 marks will be deducted from the final examination mark for non-completion of the non-assessed exercises.

Feedback methods

 All sociology courses include both formative feedback – which lets you know how you’re getting on and what you could do to improve – and summative feedback – which gives you a mark for your assessed work.

Recommended reading

Barker, C. (2000 & 2008) Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice London: Sage.
Branston, G. & Stafford, R. (1999 & 2003) The Media Student's Book London: Routledge.
Fleming, D. (2000) (ed.) Formations: A 21st Century Media Studies Textbook Manchester University Press.
Inglis, D & Hughson, J. (2003) Confronting Culture: Sociological Vistas London: Polity
Kellner, D. (1995) Media Culture: cultural studies, identity and politics between the modern and the postmodern London: Routledge.
Lewis, J. (2002) Cultural Studies: The Basics London: Sage
Storey, J. (2000) Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction, Prentice Hall

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 168

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sivamohan Valluvan Unit coordinator

Additional notes

2015/16 timetable

Thursday 16:00 - 18:00, plus a separate one-hour tutorial (range of times available)

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