SC364-6-SP-CO:
Mass Media and Modern Life

The details
2024/25
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Spring
Undergraduate: Level 6
Current
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
15
21 February 2024

 

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

 

(none)

Key module for

(none)

Module description

The module charts the period of intensive developments in new communication technologies from the latter part of the nineteenth century through to the inter-war years and considers the impact of these new mass media on social and cultural life in Britain and the wider Atlantic world from the 1860s through to the present day. From the emergence of new forms of print culture, through the impact of radio, cinema, television to the mass production and distribution of recorded music, the module explores the role of these new media in shaping distinctive forms of mass culture. A central ambition of the course is to historically chart the formation and development of these forms of mass culture and also to reflect upon the public debates associated with their emergence. The course is framed by a concern to grasp the importance of the modern mass media at a point when new technological developments in the means of communication are signalling its dissolution.

Module aims

Objectives of Course

- to develop an historical understanding of the modern mass media;

- to develop an understanding of the social and critical context of their development;

- to develop an understanding of the relationship between media forms and distinctive types of mass culture;

- to develop an understanding of the way questions of national identity were bound up with public debates about mass culture in Britain and the wider Atlantic world;

Module learning outcomes

The course is framed by a concern to grasp the importance of the modern mass media at a point when new technological developments in the means of communication are signalling its dissolution.

Module information

Please click on the link below to view the Introduction video to SC364 Mass Media and Modern Life

https://moodle.essex.ac.uk/mod/page/view.php?id=668575

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. Lectures classes labs and seminars will be taught face-to-face.

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 weekly 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

  • Annette Kuhn. (2002) Family Secrets: Verso.
  • Martin, Graham; Waites, Bernard; Bennett, Tony. (1982) Popular culture, past and present: a reader, London: Croom Helm in association with the Open University Press.
  • Leavis, F. R. (1930) Mass civilisation and minority culture, Cambridge: Minority Press. vol. Minority pamphlet
  • Lockwood, David. (no date) The 'New Working Class'. vol. 1 (2) , pp.248-259
  • Hirsch, Marianne. (1997) Family Frames: photography, narrative and postmemory: Harvard University Press.
  • McKibbin, Ross. (1998) Classes and cultures: England, 1918-1951, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Spence, Jo; Holland, Patricia. (1991) Family snaps: the meaning of domestic photography, London: Virago.
  • Patricia Holland. (2015) ''Sweet it is to scan..': personal photographs and popular photography', in Photography: a critical introduction, Abingdon: Routledge., pp.142-191
  • O'Sullivan, T. (1991) 'Television memories and cultures of viewing 1950-1965', in Popular television in Britain: studies in cultural history, London: BFI Pub.
  • (2015) Photography: a critical introduction, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Richard Dyer. (2002) 'Coming Out as Going In: The Image of the Homosexual as a Sad Young Man', in The culture of queers, London: Routledge., pp.116-136
  • Leavis, F. R. (©2009) 'Mass Civilisation and Minority Culture', in Cultural theory and popular culture: a reader, Harlow: Pearson., pp.12-19
  • Scott, Peter. (2013-01-01) Making of the Modern British Home: The Suburban Semi and Family Life Between: Oxford University Press, USA.
  • Scannell, P. (1988) 'Radio Times: the temporal arrangements of broadcasting in the modern world', in Television and its audience: international research perspectives : a selection of papers from the Second International Television Studies Conference, London, 1986, London: British Film Institute.
  • Laing, Stuart. (1986) Representations of working-class life, 1957-1964, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
  • Richard Hoggart. (1998) 'The Newer Mass Art', in The Uses of Literacy, New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers., pp.188-206
  • Hebdige, Dick. (1979) Subculture, the meaning of style, London: Methuen. vol. New accents
  • Smith, Shawn Michelle. (2013) At the edge of Sight: photography and the unseen: Duke University Press.
  • Iain Chambers. (1988) Popular culture: the metropolitan experience, London: Routledge.
  • Scannell, P; Cardiff, D. (1986) 'Good luck, war workers! Class, politics and entertainment in wartime broadcasting', in Popular culture and social relations, Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
  • Williams, Raymond. (1989) What I came to say, London: Hutchinson Radius.
  • Crisell, Andrew. (2002) An introductory history of British broadcasting, London: Routledge.
  • Gilroy, Paul. (1993, 1999) The black Atlantic: modernity and double consciousness, London: Verso.
  • Hall, Stuart. (1992) 'What is this 'Black'', in Black Popular Culture: Bay Press.
  • Samuel, Raphael. (1994-98) 'Heritage baiting', in Theatres of memory, London: Verso., pp.259-273
  • C. Gledhill with V. Bell. (1997) 'Genre and gender: the case of soap opera', in Representation: cultural representations and signifying practices, London: Sage Publications in association with the Open University. vol. Culture, media and identities
  • Bennett, T. (1986) 'Hegemony, Ideology, Pleasure : Blackpool', in Popular culture and social relations, Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
  • Jeffrey Richards. (1984) 'Going to the Pictures', in The age of the dream palace: cinema and society in Britain, 1930-1939, London: Routlege & K. Paul. vol. Cinema and society, pp.11-33
  • Bill Schwarz. (2003) 'Crossing the seas', in West Indian intellectuals in Britain, Manchester: Manchester University Press. vol. Studies in imperialism, pp.1-30
  • Hebdige, Dick. (1979) Subculture, the meaning of style, London: Methuen.
  • Patrick Joyce. (1991) Visions of the People: Industrial England and the Question of Class, 1840-1914, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Williams, R. (1978) 'The press and popular culture: a historical perspective', in Newspaper history: from the seventeenth century to the present, Beverly Hills, Calif: Sage Publications. vol. Communication and society
  • Corner, John. (1991) Popular television in Britain: studies in cultural history, London: BFI Pub.
  • Allen, Robert C. (2004) The Television Studies Reader: Routledge.
  • Donald, James. (1992) Sentimental education: schooling, popular culture and the regulation of liberty, London: Verso.
  • Chambers, Iain. (1985) Urban rhythms: pop music and popular culture, Basingstoke: Macmillan. vol. Communications and culture
  • Stuart Hall; Jessica Evans; Sean Nixon. (2013) Representation, London: Sage.
  • Scannell, Paddy; Cardiff, David. (1991) A social history of British broadcasting, Oxford: B. Blackwell.
  • Matt Houlbrook; Chris Waters. (2006) 'The Heart in Exile: Detachment and Desire in 1950s London', in History Workshop Journal., pp.142-165
  • Harry Pilkington. (1962) Report of the Committee on Broadcasting, 1960, London: H.M.S.O.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay     100% 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book, 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book, 120 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
Prof Sean Nixon, email: snixon@essex.ac.uk.
Professor Sean Nixon
Jane Harper, Undergraduate Administrator, email: socugrad@essex.ac.uk, telephone: 01206 873052

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
Yes

External examiner

Dr Aneira Edmunds
School of Law, Politics & Sociology
Senior Lecturer
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 18 (100%) hours available to students:
0 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

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.