Media, Culture and Communication

School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

College of Arts and Law


Code 18505

Level of study First Year

Credit value 20

Semester 1 and 2

Pre-requisite modules None

Module description

This module begins with an introduction to studying the media. In the first semester, students consider different forms of media, media environment, audiences, influences and effects. Students examine the key theoretical approaches to studying the media (for instance, political economy, semiotics, Marxism, uses and gratifications theory, gender approaches). In the second semester students will investigate media representations focussing on issues of language and identityThis module will introduce students to the linguistically informed analysis and interpretation of language in text and socio-cultural context, drawing on concepts from both literary- and socio-linguistics. It will focus on two main areas.

The first term will be concerned with how a range of concepts from socio-linguistics can be applied to the analysis of the ways in which use of language changes according to socio-cultural context, and the implications for the 'construction' and 'representation' of identity. Students will be asked to analyse short extracts from a variety of everyday spoken and written texts drawn from a range of languages (with translation provided as required).

The second term will be concerned with how a range of concepts from literary linguistics can be applied to a variety of media text types. Students will thus consider how literary techniques can be identified and analysed in everyday texts such as: public service, broadcasts, adverts, political speeches, political broadcasts, newspaper headlines/articles, comedy, soap opera, reality tv, pop lyrics etc. Students will be asked to analyse short extracts drawn from a variety of languages (with translation provided as required).

In both instances students will be introduced to the relevant concepts and analytical techniques in the lecture, which will be illustrated with appropriate examples. They will gain 'hands-on' experience of using the concepts and techniques in a practical, workshop-style session. The course will be introductory in nature, providing 'tasters' of how each area of linguistics can be used in a Cultural Studies context, and will assume little or no prior knowledge of socio- and literary-linguistics.