SC106-4-FY-CO:
Media, Culture and Society

The details
2024/25
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 4
Current
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
30
06 June 2024

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

BA LP33 Media and Digital Culture,
BA LP34 Media and Digital Culture (including Placement Year),
BA P300 Media and Digital Culture (Including Foundation Year),
BA PL33 Media and Digital Culture (including Year Abroad),
BA QP10 English Language with Media Communication,
BA QP11 English Language with Media Communication (Including Year Abroad),
BA QP12 English Language with Media Communication (Including Placement Year),
BA QP13 English Language with Media Communication (Including Foundation Year),
BA W350 Art History, Visual Culture and Media Studies,
BA W351 Art History, Visual Culture and Media Studies (including Year Abroad),
BA W352 Art History, Visual Culture and Media Studies (including Placement Year),
BA W353 Art History, Visual Culture and Media Studies (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module of study provides a critical introduction to the key issues of concern to scholars of modern culture and society within the emerging field of media studies. It explores the reasons why we must understand the role of the media in social life and provides an accessible account of how we get to grips with social communication. As such, our foremost interest will be examining the social practices that have shaped the media in modern society. By the end of the module, students will have accessed a range of critical approaches to questions such as:



  • Do the media influence social behaviour and the politics of representation?

  • What is the relationship between the media, mass politics and governance?

  • Are the media reflective or instigative of social and cultural change?

  • What constitutes media power and who wields it?



This module follows three major areas over two terms of lectures. In the Autumn term, the syllabus is focused on key concepts. In the Spring term, we will explore key debates and research methods.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:



  • to encourage students to understand the modern media as a social terrain, as a systematic order of communication, and as a domain of ideas.

  • to cover some of the high profile areas of popular debate including the media and violence, the media and persuasion, the media and objectivity.

  • to develop some of the central concerns of intellectual debate, including:

    • The relationship between popular aesthetics, technology and society.

    • The role of the media in the construction and contestation of values and meanings.

    • The progressive or regressive tendencies of an increasingly mediated society.





Students will receive a foundation in the major theoretical approaches to mass media, the premises of which will be established using examples from cinema, photography, newspapers and, in particular, television. In the process, students will encounter many of the disciplinary strands contributing to contemporary media analysis: sociology, cultural studies, semiotics, cultural and political economy, history, mass communications, and anthropology. Students will also consider the basics of practical methodologies for doing media research, including content analysis, research interviews and ethnography. The module is intended to be accessible to entry-level students in the humanities and social sciences, and will support further study of contemporary media in a number of disciplines. 

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:


1. have a foundation in the major theoretical approaches to mass media, the premises of which will be established using examples from cinema, photography, newspapers and, in particular, television.


2. have encountered many of the disciplinary strands contributing to contemporary media analysis: sociology, cultural studies, semiotics, cultural and political economy, history, mass communications, and anthropology.


3. have considered the basics of practical methodologies for doing media research, including content analysis, research interviews and ethnography.


 


The module is intended to be accessible to entry-level students in the humanities and social sciences, and will support further study of contemporary media in a number of disciplines

Module information

AUTUMN TERM



  • Introduction to Media, Culture and Society

  • Media Texts and Meaning: Media Representations

  • Media and Social Context: Media Power

  • Media Texts and Meaning: How Do Media Make Meaning?

  • Media Texts and Meaning: Genre and Narrative 

  • Media Texts and Meaning: Reality Media

  • Media and Social Contexts: Conceptualising Mass Society

  • Media and Social Contexts: Postmodernism and Post-Truth

  • Media and Social Contexts: Consumer Society and Advertising

  • Essay Surgeries



SPRING TERM



  • Producing Media: The Business of Media

  • Producing Media: Media Regulation and Policy

  • Producing Media: Media Production in A Global Age

  • Producing Media: Media Business in the Digital Age

  • Reading Week – Independent Activity 

  • Media and Technology

  • Media Audiences: Producing Audiences

  • Media Audiences: Investigating Audiences

  • Media Audiences: New Media Audiences

  • Essay Surgeries



SUMMER TERM



  • Revision Sessions

Learning and teaching methods

Most modules in Sociology are divided into lectures of around 50 minutes and a class of around 50 minutes. Some are taught as a 2hr seminar, and others via a 50-minute lecture and 2-hr lab.

Please note that you should be spending up to eight hours per week undertaking your own private study (reading, preparing for classes or assignments, etc.) on each of your modules (e.g. 32 hours in total for four 30-credit modules).

The lectures provide an overview of the substantive debates around the topic of the week, while the classes will give you the opportunity to reflect on your learning and actively engage with your peers to develop your understanding further.

The lecture and classes will take place face-to-face. You are strongly encouraged to attend the classes as they provide an opportunity to talk with your class teacher and other students. The classes will be captured and available via Listen Again. However, if you want to gain the most you can from these classes it is very important that you attend and engage. Please note that the recording of classes is at the discretion of the teacher.

Bibliography*

This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Autumn Essay     50% 
Coursework   January 2023 Reassessment - Spring term Essay      
Coursework   Spring Essay    50% 
Coursework   Resit out of residence - 2 failed essay      
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book, 180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book, 180 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr James Allen-Robertson, email: jallenh@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Michael Bailey, email: mbailey@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Michael Bailey and Dr James Allen-Robertson
email: socugrad (Non essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create the full email address)

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
Yes

External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 669 hours, 76 (11.4%) hours available to students:
593 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Sociology and Criminology

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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