module specification

SM6003 - Media, Culture and Identity (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Media, Culture and Identity
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
160 hours Guided independent study
50 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group work 25%   15 Minute group presentation
Coursework 25%   Poster
Coursework 50%   3000 word essay
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module addresses the role of mediated representation and communication in the development and reproduction of cultural and social identities. Drawing on a range of recent critical theories, it considers a broad spectrum of symbolic forms from the fields of film, TV, magazines, popular literature and advertising, and relates them to the social construction of social identities including ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality. The module has a particular emphasis on anti-essentialist notions of identity, and on the influence of post-structuralism on identity and subjectivity. The module aims to:

● Encourage informed engagement with theories of the nature of cultural identity in contemporary societies.
● Facilitate the critical analysis of the relationship between cultural identities and the meanings of media texts and cultural practices.
● Provide a supportive environment for the development of competence in discussion and presentation

Prior learning requirements


Module aims



The syllabus addresses the Culture and Identity section of the QAA subject benchmark for Communications, Film, Media and Cultural Studies. The module is divided into teaching blocks over thirty weeks of teaching. These blocks will address major topics of identity and the media.

An indicative outline of topics may include:
● essentialism and anti-essentialism;
● post-structuralism and identity;
● post-modernism and identity;
● structuration and narratives of identity;
● identity politics;
● first and second wave feminism;
● third wave feminism and post-feminism;
● masculinities;
● the family & domesticity;
● post-colonialism; nationhood;
● ‘race’ and ethnicity;
● the body; identity, memory, pathology; 
● cyborg and the posthuman;
● sex and sexuality;
● #queer theory;
● Transgender identities
● Digital identities

The syllabus will include regular screenings of films, advertisements, and television programmes appropriate to the topics covered on the module.

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 6

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be delivered through a combination of modes of delivery, including formal lectures, seminars, and regular screenings. The mixed-mode module delivery will used to encourage a supportive environment for individual and peer-group learning.

A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be used as a platform to support online activities including on-line discussions, evaluation of online resources, and access to electronic reading packs. The VLE will also be used to facilitate formative non-contributory assessment and related feedback, as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials provided by research institutions, academic publications, professional organisations and other relevant sources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Critically examine recent developments in the theoretical analysis of cultural identities.
2. Understand the role of identities and subjectivities in practices of cultural production and media consumption.
3. Apply at least one of the theories introduced on the module to the analysis of a contemporary media or cultural phenomenon of their own choosing.


Core readings and recommended readings will be provided for each week. In addition the following
textbooks are recommended:
Core texts:
Woodward, K. (2003) Understanding Identity, London: Arnold.
Gauntlett, D. (2008) Media, Gender and Identity: An Introduction, London: Routledge.

Secondary texts:
Barker, C. (2016) Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice, London: Sage.

Buckingham, D (2008), Youth Identity and Digital Media, Cambridge: MIT Press.
Curran, J. & Hesmondhalgh, D. (2019), Media and Society; 6 th Edition, New York:
Bloomsbury Academic.
Du Gay, P. et al (eds) (2000) Identity: A Reader, London: Sage.
Hodgkinson, P. (2017), Media, Culture and Society, London: Sage.
Jones, A. (2010), The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, London: Routledge.
Modern and the Postmodern, London: Routledge.
Laughey, D. (2007) Key Themes in Media Theory, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Matheson, D. (2005) Media Discourses, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Nasar, M. (2010), Citizenship, Identity, and the Politics of Multiculturalism,
Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Pullen, C. & Cooper, M. (2010), LGBT Identity and New Media, London: Routledge.
Smith, P. (2001) Cultural Theory: An Introduction, Oxford: Blackwell
Storey, J. (2019), Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: a Reader, Abingdon: Routledge.
Talbot, M. (2007) Media Discourse: Representation and Interaction, Edinburgh:
Edinburgh University Press.
Taylor, S. (2010), Narratives of Identity and Space, London: Routledge.
Wetherall, M. (2009), Theorizing Identities and Social Action, Basingstoke and New
York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Woodward, K. (1997) Identity and Difference, London: Sage.
Woodward, K. (2004), Questioning Identity: Gender, Class Ethnicity, London: