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Unit information: Media / Culture / Society in 2015/16

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Unit name Media / Culture / Society
Unit code SOCI20038
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Jo Haynes
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

Culture and Media are crucial aspects of contemporary life and have become increasingly important areas of sociological study. This unit will focus upon some of the key ways that culture has been explained by sociologists. By discussing contemporary issues within media and culture (for example, reality TV, celebrity culture, branding), this unit will discuss the relationship between culture, media and other forms of social power.


  • To explore the importance of media and culture in modern society
  • To compare different theoretical approaches to the study of media and culture
  • To discuss how power relations affect cultural representation
  • To provide students with knowledge of a range of contemporary cultural issues
  • To encourage critical engagement with media

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss their understanding of the socially constructed nature of culture
  2. Evaluate different sociological approaches to media and culture
  3. Critically discuss the relationship between cultural production and consumption
  4. Apply sociological insights to the analysis of contemporary issues in media and culture

Teaching Information

2 x 1hr lecture and 1 hour seminar

Assessment Information

Formative essay

Summative essay: 3,000 words

The essay(s) will address learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4 by offering students a range of questions that ask them to draw on substantive and theoretical material covered across the unit. The essays will also offer an opportunity to apply their understanding to a range of contemporary issues in media and culture appropriate to the essay questions.

Reading and References

  • Bennett, A. (2005) Culture and Everyday Life London: Sage.
  • Hodkinson, P. (2011) Media, Culture and Society
  • Storey, J. (2009) Cultural Theory and Popular Culture (fifth edition) Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.
  • Strinati, D. (2004) An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture (second edition) London: Routledge.