SM6003 - Media, Culture and Identity (2020/21)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2020/21|
|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|
|Running in 2020/21||
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.
Prior learning requirements
- 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
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; childhood and youth; post-colonialism; nationhood; ‘race’ and ethnicity; racism; religion & religious persecution; the body; identity, memory, pathology; cyborg and the posthuman; sex and sexuality; queer theory; life on the screen; video games, virtual worlds, network identities.
The syllabus will include regular screenings of films, advertisements, and television programmes appropriate to the topics covered on the module.
Learning and teaching
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.
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
- Critically examine recent developments in the theoretical analysis of cultural identities.
- Understand the role of identities and subjectivities in practices of cultural production and media consumption.
- 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.
The assessment strategy aims to facilitate understanding of and critical engagement with theories of identity through a range of contributory and non-contributory assessment instruments. Interim contributory assessment is designed to enable students to receive constructive feedback on their attainment against the module aims and learning outputs. Interim contributory assessment will take place at two points during the teaching year. This will include:
- 15 Min group presentation;
- Individual poster presentation.
Final component contributory assessment will take place through a 4000word essay on a topic of the students choosing handed in during the assessment period after week 30. The essay will demonstrate attainment in learning outcomes 1-3, and will be appropriate to Honours Level work, asking students to both apply and reflect critically upon, the theoretical perspectives considered during the module. Summative assessment instruments are designed to:
- Test students' knowledge and critical appraisal of the subject matter;
- Test their application of this knowledge in the critique of social and cultural identities;
- Relate this knowledge to a broader understanding of the media studies / social media subject area
In addition to the contributory assessment exercises, non-contributory assessments will be deployed throughout the module to encourage reflective independent learning. These non-contributory assessments may consist of written exercise, quizzes, presentations, and seminar papers. Non-contributory assessment may make use of the virtual learning environment (VLE) where appropriate.
Core readings and recommended readings will be provided for each week. In addition the following textbooks are recommended:
Barker, C. (2003) Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice, London: Sage.
Buckingham, D (2008), Youth Identity and Digital Media, Cambridge: MIT Press.
Du Gay, P. et al (eds) (2000) Identity: A Reader, London: Sage.
Gauntlett, D. (2008) Media, Gender and Identity: An Introduction, London: Routledge.
Gripsrud, J. (2002) Understanding Media Culture, London: Arnold.
Jones, A. (2010), The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, London: Routledge.
Kellner, D. (1995) Media Culture: Cultural Studies, Identity and Politics Between the 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.
Sarup, M. (1996) Identity, Culture and the Postmodern World, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Smith, P. (2001) Cultural Theory: An Introduction, Oxford: Blackwell
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. (2003) Understanding Identity, London: Arnold.