MEDIA101-20B (HAM)

Media, Culture and Society

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts
Screen and Media Studies


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Paper Description

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Welcome to MEDIA101 - Media, Culture and Society.

This paper explores the relationships between media and contemporary culture, with an emphasis on digital modes of communications.

Media systems and technologies have enormous economic, social and political impacts upon contemporary life, but are themselves shaped by these factors.

This paper will introduce students to some key critical frameworks for considering the relationships between media, culture, and society, such as production, distribution, history, identity, and ethics. These frameworks are an important background for other Media Studies and Arts papers, and for working in media-related industries.

The learning objectives for this course include the following:

  • to encourage students to reflect upon the complex relationships between 'media' and 'culture';
  • to provide strategies so that students recognise that all forms of media are shaped by historical, social, cultural, economic, political and technological factors;
  • to focus on current issues regarding the media;
  • to encourage students to reflect upon their own position, and the position of others, in respect of contemporary media;
  • to extend student vocabulary and terminology, in order for them to talk about media in an informed manner;
  • to acquire important information about the media in respect to the concepts of identity, communities, citizenship and work;
  • to introduce students to skills necessary for critically engaging with the study of media
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Paper Structure

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In this paper we introduce a variety of perspectives on the complex and constantly changing relationships between media, society, and culture. The paper is structured around a series of topics that are focused on introducing key concepts and issues related to these relationships.

We discuss media in both historical and current contexts, based on the contention that we cannot understand what is happening now in media (and the world generally) without having knowledge of what went before. Together, we examine past, present, and future implications of the role of media on individual and collective life.

  • Lectures will be delivered online and uploaded on the Monday night. The material will be properly sequenced so that it is available in time for students to view it before attending relevant online Zoom critical discussion, and face-to-face activities (tutorials).
  • On Tuesdays (10 to 11.30 am) a Zoom session (critical discussion) will be dedicated to questions and discussions about the weekly lecture topic. This session aims to promote discussion among students about the week's topic, with the lecturer taking an active role as mediator.
  • This format is different from the tutorials which aim to develop critical perspectives in an interactive way.
    please read for MORE INFO on these points in the 'workload section' of this outline

Students are expected to consult the reading list regularly: some assessment tasks and test questions might include elements of the suggested readings.

Please read all announcements. Answers to questions about assessment will be in the form of announcements. If you have questions contact me (as the convenor and main lecturer), and also your class representatives.

Please email me directly : the title of your email must contain the paper code, your name and student ID.

Please note that some aspects of the paper might have to be amended if circumstances require to do so. Potentially there might be slight changes in lecture content or topics' order. All care will be taken to not disturb your study and the planning of the assessments.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • understand, analyse and discuss important features of various contemporary media;
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  • recognise, define, understand and use core concepts in media analysis, especially in respect of the production, distribution and consumption of media;
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  • undertake basic research about the role and impact of media;
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  • critically evaluate, assess and express ideas about contemporary media in respect of power, control and value;
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  • understand histrorical developments in the media and how these have shaped contemporary media
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  • better understand and critically evaluate their own relationships with current media production and distribution
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. TWO commentaries on individual Googlesite ( 20 points each)
9 Aug 2020
10:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. POSITION PAPER a media and society issue
27 Sep 2020
10:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3.  TEST ( via Moodle)
13 Oct 2020
10:00 AM
  • Other: Timed online test
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Weekly readings are linked through Moodle. These readings will be discussed in lectures and tutorials; some of these readings will form the focus of your Opinion Paper. Supplementary readings and other resources will also be supplied to assist learning and assessments.

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Recommended Readings

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It is recommended that you consult the reading list and also find readings yourself.

The library and student learning centre have fantastic resources that can be accessed from the 2 top left tabs on your moodle panel.
Please consult these as a matter of priority.

There are various documents in the Moodle resource folder that you should consult such as APA quick referencing guide (English and Mandarin).
Documents and instructions for assessments will be added in the section "Assessments & related instructions".

Please check the resource and assessment folders regularly.

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Other Resources

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All lectures will be accessible on Panopto on the Monday night prior the scheduled lecture time (which is now replaced by the critical discussion, Tuesday 10 -11.30 am).

Suggestions of readings and other media outputs from students are appreciated: if you are multilingual please consult foreign papers and media outlets that will provide various views on current and topical events . You are encouraged to share cultural perspectives on mediatised events, supported by examples, during discussion and tutorials.

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Online Support

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There is an online Moodle community for this course. Moodle can be accessed via iWaikato. Lecture presentations (post-lectures), tutorial exercises, assignment details, important dates and the paper outline are all available from this site.

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Every week there will be an online lecture (accessible by Monday night at latest) and a critical discussion (Zoom-Tuesday 10-11.30 am) Please ensure you are on-time for these.
The recorded lectures will introduce key concepts, connecting these with the overall design of the paper.
The Panopto recordings will be accessible by the Monday night, as well as Power Point slides but as these contain only key ideas, you will need to view the Panopto lectures to get ‘the full picture’.

The critical discussion aims to encourage exchanges of critical viewpoints in relation to the weekly topic (Zoom meeting-Tuesday 10-11.30 am)

Each week, students will also attend a tutorial on campus (starting from the second week), designed to further develop the ideas introduced in lectures and outline approaches to pieces of assessment. It is expected that students will be active participants in tutorial activities. Students will be able to sign up for a tutorial through Moodle in the first week.

The Tuesday tutorial (2-3pm) will be delivered in class and simultaneously on Zoom if you are not able to be on campus on a regular basis. You will have to be registered to access a tutorial. The Zoom option is not a simple 'drop in option' : it might be the only option for international or non-Hamilton based students to participate to a tutorial.

The expectations are that in addition to weekly attendance at the lecture + discussion + your nominated tutorial (3 to 4 hours), you will spend another 7 hours on course revision, readings preparation and assessment work.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: SMST102

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