Popular Culture, Media and Society - SO750

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 6 15 (7.5) DR C Pedwell checkmark-circle


This module introduces and applies ideas in critical, cultural and communications theory to debates and issues surrounding media and popular culture, focusing on such themes as cultural elitism, power and control, the formation of identities, the politics of representation, and the cultural circuit of production and consumption. It investigates the relationship between the development of contemporary society and societal values and the changing technological basis of mediated culture.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

The module will be composed of 11 lecture hours and 11 seminar hours (22 contact hours) and approx. 128 private study hours.

Lectures provide key information, explain ideas and concepts with reference to examples and contexts relating to the theme or topic. An introduction to cultural and sociological theories are central to the course, and this is always integrated into the introduction of topics and themes. Lecture slides will be made available on Moodle along with an array of other useful reading material uploaded on a week to week basis. Additionally students are expected to source relevant articles and other academic sources through the library.

Seminars provide a forum for further discussion of the lecture topic and associated reading and for structured learning activities (such as group work, presentations, etc.) as deemed appropriate. Specific preparation tasks and additional reading are also frequently suggested (or supplied) by seminar teachers and lecturers.

Method of assessment

The module will be assessed by one mid-term essay of 2,500 words (45%), one end of term essay of 2,500 words (45%), and a class participation mark taking into account the level of classroom performance (10%).

Essays will require students to critically engage with the themes, theoretical and methodological issues of the module's content in comparative and contextual ways, making connections across the topics of the module as well as speaking to each directly. Students will be expected to provide evidence-based argument and evaluation, developed through both a depth and breadth of library and media-based research.
The class participation mark will draw on preparedness for and participation in class discussion. This component assesses students' weekly engagement with the topics, and presentational abilities.

Indicative reading

Gill, R. (2006) Gender and the Media. Polity
Hall, S. (1997) Representations: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. Sage
Hjarvard, S. (2013) The Mediatization of Culture and Society. Routledge
Hodkinson, P. (2001) Media, Culture and Society. Sage
Jenkins, H. (ed.) (2006) Convergence Culture: where old and new media collide. New York University Press
Long, P., Wall, T. (2012) Media Studies: Texts, Production and Context. Pearson
Storey, J. (2012) Cultural Theory and Popular Culture. Routledge

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Use various theoretical approaches to popular culture, media and mediated communications.

Engage in a range of critical debates surrounding media and popular cultural production and consumption.

Examine how social critique and media culture interact and cross-inform each other.

Understand a number of social and cultural issues concerning the integration of media technologies into everyday life.

Develop a critical understanding of processes of mediation and remediation in the narrative construction of personal and collective identities.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 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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