The Sociology of Media


This module will introduce to students a sociological overview of the mass media, its developments, and social impacts.


The aim of this module is to provide students with a broad introduction to the sociology of the mass media.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate an awareness of some of the key moments in the historical emergence of mass media culture.

2.  Demonstrate a basic understanding of media technologies, media forms and media institutions.

3.  Demonstrate an appreciation of some of the issues and problems with analysing the content of the mass media.

4.  Show a basic knowledge of some the key theoretical approaches to media and culture.

5.  Appreciate some of the complexities of the relationship between media/texts/audiences.

Indicative Content

1 Content

The Meaning of the Mass Media (definition and origins of key terms, the historical emergence of mass mediated popular cultures).

2 Media and Technology

Media technology and historical development, theories of technology and technological determinism, social impacts of technology representations of technology in Science Fiction and popular culture)

3 Media Cultures

audiences, fans, genres, elite and mass culture

4 The Cultural History of Media Forms

The Press, Cinema and Television; debates surrounding media effects

5 The Language of Crime, Violence and Conflict

Terrorism and political violence

6 Race and Representation in the Media

Race and Representation in the Media

7 Gender and Media Culture

Gender and Media Culture

8 Celebrity and Celebrity Culture

Celebrity and Celebrity Culture

9 Gender Centred Cyber Bullying

Gender Centred Cyber Bullying

10 Pornification


Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Students are taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars. Tutorial and seminar classes are based around reading for, and preparing, a discussion paper for the subsequent class. Students are required to come to the class with a set of notes based around a prior series of questions which will be distributed online. Classes then proceed on the basis of discussion and dialogue framed by the tutor, but led by students. Seminars seek to develop students research skills, critical skills, oral and communicative skills, listening and reasoning skills. The promotion of these skills seeks to enhance and develop those attributes of intellectual, professional and active citizenship. Assessment is a 1500 word Portfolio.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 10
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 20
Independent 146

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.