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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: SOC2021 Module Title: UNDERSTANDING MEDIA: KEY TEXTS
Module Provider: Sociology Short Name: SOC2021
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: ORTEGA BRETON H Mr (Sociology)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern

Weekly seminar contributions: 20%

Portfolio of weekly written reflections: 60% (including a reflection on the presentation)

Group Presentation: 20%.



Module Overview

This module focuses on the contemporary and historical study of media through the close reading and analysis of key primary texts within the field. The aim is to understand and closely examine the work of influential theorists of media, culture and society, past and present, and to develop students’ abilities to think critically and apply the insights of these theorists to contemporary mediatised practices.


Module Aims
Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:


- recognise the contribution to the study of media made by a selection of key thinkers and schools


- compare and contrast the ideas and approaches of key thinkers


- identify potential difficulties with the ideas examined and articulate carefully reasoned criticisms


- place the work of different key thinkers within the overall context of broader debates about the role of media in society.



Module Content

·         Weekly critical reading, writing and discussion of primary texts


·         The module will also cover a range of contrasting perspectives and central debates in order to facilitate comparison and criticism.



Methods of Teaching/Learning
Selected Texts/Journals

Indicative Reading List


·         Altheide, D. & Snow, R. (1991) Media Worlds in the Postjournalism Era. RSM Press.


·         Ang, I. (1996) Living Room Wars: Rethinking Media Audiences for a Postmodern World, Routledge.


·         Baudrillard, J. (1983), ‘The Ecstasy of Communication’, in Foster, H. (ed.), Postmodern Culture. Pluto Press.


·         Barlow, D. M. and Mills, B. (2009). Reading Media Theory: Thinkers, Approaches, Contexts. Pearson Education.


·         Gilroy , P.


·         Gill, R. (2008) Gender and the Media. Polity.


·         Hall, S. (1980), 'Encoding/decoding', in CCCS (Ed.): Culture, Media, Language: Working Papers in Cultural Studies, 1972-79. Hutchinson .


·         Mathiesen, T. (1997). The Viewer Society: Michel Foucault’s ‘Panopticon’ revisited. Theoretical Criminology, 1, 215-234.


·         McLuhan, M. (1964) Understanding Media, MIT Press.


·         Morley, D. (1992) Television, Audiences and Cultural Studies. Routledge.


·         Silverstone, R. (1994). Television and Everyday Life. Abingdon and New York : Routledge.


·         Williams, R. (2003) Television and Cultural Form. Routledge Classics.



Last Updated
September 2010