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School of Social Sciences

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BSocSc Sociology
Learn to critically analyse and interpret societies and gain skills for a variety of careers.

BSocSc Sociology / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
New Media

Unit code SOCY20241
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Sociology
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Brief overview of the syllabus/topics.

1. Introduction: what is new media?
2. New media and globalization
3. The economy and new media, new businesses, changes in old industries Eg The music industry.
4. The digital divide and patterns of use
5. Political processes and new media mediation
6. The 'dark side' of the new media, focusing on issues of surveillance, safety and security, examining conflict, fraud and pornography
7. The shifts in journalism associated with the new media
8. Mobile media and the shifts that mobility and portability introduce to our everyday lives
9. Social media: the vast majority of new media users are also using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
10. Games and gaming, understanding games culture as emblematic of the culture of the new media


New media has had a major impact on our daily lives. It has changed the way we do business, the way we play games, our access to information and the way we communicate. It has given rise to cyber crime, increased surveillance and thrown up new issues of safety and security. There is also an increasing divide between those with access to new media and those that do not. Understanding new media leads to an understanding of changes and transformations in social processes, norms, ideas and practices. The media are inextricably bound to society: the study of one requires the study of the other. This unit is therefore concerned with tracking and critically examining the changes in society associated with the new media. Students will be expected to engage with new media and the unit looks at the topic from a general empirical social science perspective rather than a media or theoretical standpoint.

Learning outcomes

Student should/will (please delete as appropriate) be able to

- Engage in debates about new information technologies and social change
- Understand issues of privacy and security relating to online media
- Critically apprehend the relationship between technology, new media and society
- Engage with new media and learn by interacting with the material
- Evaluate empirical data relating to new media and its uses
- Participate in on-line collaboration

Teaching and learning methods

Main ideas will be presented in a 2 hour weekly lecture/workshop in addition there will be a weekly tutorial session. A major part of the unit will be an emphasis on e-tivities capitalizing on the main features of Web 2; participation and collaboration. Salmon (2002) identified four main features characterizing e-tivities. First, they begin with a 'spark', a question, a challenge, or a small piece of information. This is followed by, second, online activity by individuals, which then is communicated to others who are expected to respond. This interaction is the third feature, while, finally, the fourth element is the feedback or response by a moderator. Whilst this uses a Web 2 approach it will be delivered via Blackboard.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%

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

Haddon, L (2004) Information and communication Technologies. Oxford: Berg.

Kraut, R., Brynin, M., Kiesler S (2006) Computers, phones and the internet: Domesticating Information Technology. Oxford: OUP

Green, Lelia (2010) The Internet. Oxford: Berg.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 168

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Martin Everett Unit coordinator

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