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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5310M Media, Culture and Globalisation

30 creditsClass Size: 37

Module manager: Dr Helen Kim

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module introduces students to the globalization of media and communication and addresses their implications on local, regional and global level with reference to the contexts, texts, technologies and practices of media production and media consumption. During the course of the semester we will examine the main characteristics of global media and communication industries and their economic and cultural role. We will focus on examples from a wide range of contemporary ‘flows’, including innovative forms of global media communication, such as those found in branding and visual/material culture.


- To develop a reflexive understanding of change in cultural and media industries
- To gain insight into how the key tension of global interconnectivity between homogenization and heterogenization plays out across communication contexts
- To develop a critical appreciation of the close relationship between media, culture and processes of globalization
- To be aware of some of the key characteristics of global media industries, their economic and cultural role
- To be able to appreciate current and future developments in global media/culture industries
- To develop skills to analyse cultural developments on local, regional and global levels
- To learn to appreciate the significance of technological change and of transnationalism
- To learn methodological skills for developing academic and professional cultural projects
- To examine specific case-studies and controversial issues within the field, especially the relations of power involved in international/global communication (e.g. issues of ownership and control of global media and communication technologies, issues tied to the representation and communication of ethnic, national, regional and transnational identities)

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students should have shown evidence of being able to:

1. develop a understand and critically analyse appreciation of the close relationship between media, culture and processes of globalization
2. learn to appreciaterecognise and evaluate the significance of technological change and of transnationalism
3. be aware of some of theUnderstand and critique key characteristics of global media industries, including their economic and cultural role
4. be able to appreciateCritically analyse current and future developments in global media industries
5. gain an understanding of the role of audiences in processes of globalization of culture
6. develop skills toCritically analyse cultural developments on local, regional and global levels
7. learn understand and apply methodological skills for developing academic and professional cultural projects

Skills outcomes
- Critical thinking and analytical skills in relation to key contemporary cultural, economic and political processes and phenomena related to media studies and global communication scholarship
- Ability to apply theoretical constructs to specific case-studies and everyday life contexts
- Research skills (e.g. case-study design) that may be useful and transferable in careers relating to media production, branding/public relations, public/institutional communication, community planning/activism, etc.


Here’s the module’s basic outline, week by week:

- Introduction: defining globalization
- The cultural dimensions of globalization
- Media globalization and cultural identities
- Technology: transformations and challenges
- Discourse(s): language, images and power in global communication
- Local, regional and global dimensions of media communication
- Global culture industries: changes and power structures
- Transnational communities
- Consumers and audiences

Here is a more detailed description of what will be covered in the module:

The module begins with a focus on the definition of the term globalization in relation and in opposition to other similar terms, such as globality and globalism. We also define key concepts for the study of globalization, such as ‘flows’, ‘-scapes’, ‘homogenization’ and ‘heterogenization’―with a special concern for their implications for constructs such as the nation-state and locality. In relation to this point, in the module we discuss how cultural globalization is interdependent with processes of political, economic and technological development. We discuss some of these key linkages in relation to media and communication in transnational, but also regional and national, contexts. We trace some of the key historical and theoretical dimensions of media globalization, with a particular concern for how these may affect our current understandings of media content and media production. One of the key aspects of globalization in relation to media content and media production regards the discourses and genres that can be identified across internationally popular media formats. We define both concepts and apply them to specific cases. In doing so, we take into account the media production and consumption practices of ‘local’ and ‘transnational’ communities alike, including diasporas. We finally discuss the increasing blurring of boundaries between media and material dimensions of everyday life, with a particular emphasis on branding and audience labour.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours279.50
Total Contact hours20.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students will be required to read 6-8 articles and/or book chapters a week, for a total of about 15 weekly hours of reading (150 hours over 10 weeks). Each student should spend approximately 60 hours working on the completion of the essay assignment, and 69.5 hours on the case study report assignment.

The instructor will support students’ private study and independent learning through the active use of VLE capabilities (e.g. by posting resources, encouraging online exchange on key themes/topics, etc.)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students taking this module are expected to attend classes regularly. A register will be taken and absences will be justified only if there is a documented exceptional reason for missing class.

Students will be expected to read in advance of classes and participate in weekly discussions. Those who fail to do so will be encouraged and/or met out of class to discuss any problems.

The assessed assignments are designed in such a way that the individual essay due on week 8 should lay the conceptual foundations for the case study report due on week 12. In addition, the module leader will meet with each student during office hours for support and advice in relation to their projects (see tutorials). Ideally, students will meet with the module leader at least once during the semester, although students will be encouraged to see the module leader regularly during office hours.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 - 3,500 words50.00
Report3,500 - 4,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The essay is focuses on the conceptualization and analysis of key dimensions of globalization in the media and communication. Students will be required to write 3,000-3,500 words for this assignment. The case study report will require for students to conduct original research on a specific case of global media production/consumption. Students will produce a report of 3,500-4,000 words based on their research and analysis of their findings.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 16/09/2021 14:41:47


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