Emotion, Media and Culture - SOCI7420

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module invites students to explore the critical links between emotion, media and culture in the context of contemporary cultural, socio-political and economic relations. It examines what is meant by 'the affective turn' within the humanities and social sciences and introduces students to a range of interdisciplinary literatures concerned with theorising the cultural politics of emotion and the mediation of affect. Through various case studies and examples, the module investigates how social, cultural and media theorists have addressed the relationships between emotion, affect, power and identity in the context of postcoloniality, multiculturalism, neoliberalism and various social justice movements. Attending to contemporary cultural debates concerning happiness, empathy, hope, fear, hate, disgust and melancholia, it explores how personal feelings are linked to social norms and power structures and considers how we might disrupt an assumed division between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ emotions. The module explores how emotions, feelings and affects are produced, mediated and circulated through a range of cultural forms, practices and technologies, paying particular attention to the role of film, television, news media, digital culture, literature and popular science.


Contact hours

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


Cultural Studies and Media BA
Cultural Studies joint honours bachelor degrees
Sociology BA
Sociology joint honours bachelor degrees

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Coursework - Assignment (2500 words) – 40%
Coursework - Portfolio (2500 words) – 50%
Coursework - Seminar participation – 10%

Reassessment methods

Reassessment instrument - 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Ahmed, S. (2004) The Cultural Politics of Emotion (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP).
Boler, M. (1999) Feeling Power: Emotions and Education (London: Routledge).
Chouliaraki, L. (2006) The Spectatorship of Suffering (London: Sage).
Greco, M. and Stenner, P. (2008) Emotions: A Social Science Reader (London: Routledge).
Skeggs, B. and Wood, H. (2012) Reacting to Reality Television: Performance, Audience and Value (Abingdon: Routledge).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 The relationships between emotion, media and culture in the contemporary era
8.2 Critical approaches to theorising emotion, affect and feeling in interdisciplinary Cultural Studies.
8.3 How emotions are mediated through a range of cultural forms, processes and technologies.
8.4 How, and with what potential implications, personal feelings are linked to social norms and structural relations of power.
8.5 How universal and binary frameworks for interpreting emotions and affective practices might be critiqued.
8.6 The affective nature of contemporary political and ideological processes and the role of media in such processes.
8.7 The relationships between emotion, affect and contemporary social projects and movements.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Understand and critically evaluate the main dimensions of theoretical approaches towards the subjects under investigation
9.2 Interrogate and integrate diverse sources of sociological, cultural and media analysis and information and produce distinctive knowledge
9.3 Analyse case studies with the assistance of interdisciplinary resources
9.4 Think critically about reading material and discuss and express arguments informed by the literature in a seminar setting
9.5 Undertake accurate investigation and description, and develop logical arguments based on an understanding of the literature and express
these arguments clearly in a written format
9.6 Work cooperatively with others in seminar groups


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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