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The course aims to equip students with an understanding of independent media within democracies. It provides students with the critical skills to analyse the economics of mainstream media and the impact of independent media on government policy, mainstream media, and social change.
This course begins by critically analyzing how marginalized groups are represented in mainstream media. We will explore the political, economic, legal, historical and social implications of the relationship between the mass media and marginalized groups. Given that modern media assist in the construction of social reality, this course explores how media representation is related to social issues of gender, race and class. The course then moves to explore how disempowered, marginalized groups use alternative media to improve their social capital. Independent media are defined most broadly as those media practices falling outside the mainstreams of corporate, commercialized communication. The course will examine the culture and politics of alternative/independent and community media and situate them within a theoretical framework. Case studies will examine visual communication, “underground” print media, community radio, small-scale independent documentary film and video, alternative music, and a variety of uses of the Internet for maintaining and mobilizing social movements. The course will address topics such as the construction of reality, ideology, race, gender, sexuality, class structure, hegemony, and the struggle for marginalized groups through present media systems.
By the end of this course, students should be able to: make well-reasoned arguments about how and why marginalized groups are represented in mainstream media explain the purpose of independent media in a democracy demonstrate a critical understanding of hegemony and how the concept manifests throughout institutional and individual layers of society articulate the role of media in the social construction of reality describe and explain shared characteristics among independent media make critically-informed arguments about how independent media challenge and/or support corporate media apply the core concerns of the course to creative and academic projects of their own choosing demonstrate a firm grasp of concepts such as power and resistance
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Entry is subject to approval of the Head of Department. RP: have qualified for a Bachelor's degree (with at least a B average in 300-level courses); or have qualified for a Bachelor's degree and provided evidence to the satisfaction of the Dean of Arts and Head of Department of relevant professional or other work experience
have qualified for a Bachelor's degree (with at least a B average in 300-level courses); or have qualified for a Bachelor's degree and provided evidence to the satisfaction of the Dean of Arts and Head of Department of relevant professional or other work experience
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Domestic fee $1,847.00
International Postgraduate fees
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
For further information see
Language, Social and Political Sciences.