Contemporary Culture and Media - SOCI3350

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Spring Term 4 15 (7.5) David Nettleingham checkmark-circle


Contemporary culture is 'now-time' culture, but when did 'now’ begin - and, will it be over before the course starts? This module focuses on analysing contemporary culture and media and aims to demonstrate the range of possible interpretations that mediated culture can be open to. It raises questions about how culture can be viewed from aesthetic, political, ethical and economic perspectives. What is culture really for? Is it product or a process? Who owns it? Is it for fun or is it deadly serious? In order to think through contemporary issues such as gender relations, sexuality, multiculturalism and otherness, and what they might imply about our changing perceptions of space, place, and belonging, we'll be taking a case study approach to a range of cultural products and objects, media and institutions, and post-modern practices of communication. This module aims to understand the transformation of culture and media and everyday life we are living through and the way it changes who we are.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Examination (2 hours) – 50%
Coursework - essay (1500 words) – 30%
Coursework - class participation – 20%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework

Indicative reading

• J. Storey, An Introductory Guide to Cultural Theory and Popular Culture (London: Harvester, 1993).
• A. McRobbie, The Uses of Cultural Studies: A Textbook (London: Sage, 2005).
• J. Lewis, Cultural Studies: The Basics (London: Sage, 2002).
• Barker, Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice (London: Sage, 2000).
• M. Ryan (ed), Cultural Studies: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell 2008).
• A. Kirkby. Digimodernism (Oxford: Continuum, 2009).
• J. McGuigan. Modernity and Postmodern Culture (Buckingham: Open University Press, 1999).
• S. Connor, Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes are as follows. On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1.Situate the idea of 'contemporary culture and media' and the idea of 'the contemporary' within a philosophical and historical context.
2.Implement key analytical approaches for the study of contemporary culture and media through case studies.
3.Understand contemporary culture and media through an inter-disciplinary body of work.
4.Understand the contemporary cultural conjuncture as a political, economic and social phenomenon.

The intended generic learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1.Understand the advantages of applying cross-disciplinary approaches to examining social and cultural phenomena.
2.Understand how to apply theory to analysis.
3.Demonstrate presentation and debate skills.
4.Assess scholarly theory, hypotheses, theses, and their implications.
5.Demonstrate library-based study skills, including the use of web-based resources and the discipline of close reading of key texts in cultural and media theory


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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