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You are required to submit 4 x 500 word pieces of work that together constitute a 2000 word submission. Please note that each of your four submissions involves work on different `theory`. This means overall you will engage with a minimum of a third of the overall syllabus. You might also like to know that our assessment portfolio precisely matches the generic approach we take in the scale up seminar, which is to work on (1) conceptual understanding; (2) analysis and close engagement with academic writing; and (3) real-world application. So the seminar events are a primer of formative element for the final assessed piece of work.
key theories and concepts for this course:
Mass Society / Marxism / Power / Pleasure / Postmodernism / McLuhan’s Theory of Media Form / Neoliberalism / Celebrity / Feminism / Postfeminism / The Public Sphere / Theories of Information Society.
Portfolio 1. Demonstration of conceptual understanding: This task involves one 500-word exposition of one key `theory` (or concept) introduced in the module. We want you to explain: what the theory/concept means; where it comes from historically and/or theoretically; and what its uses and importance might be for understanding and analysing the dynamics of media culture. academic writing is a genuine learned skill and this module is precisely intended to help develop your critical skills, so enter into the spirit and give it a good go.
Portfolio 2. Critical engagement with Media Theory: This submission is a critical review of a journal article. You will identify ONE chosen article from the following list of academic journals devoted to the field of Media and Cultural Studies. To keep things simple, no other journal choice is allowed other than from the list directly below. These journals are available electronically via Library One Search. They are:
· Body and Society
· Critical Studies in Media Communication
· Cultural Studies
· Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture
· European Journal of Communication
· European journal of Cultural Studies
· Feminist Media Studies
· Global media and communication
· International Journal of Communication
· International Journal of Cultural Studies
· Journal of Consumer Culture
· Media Culture & Society
· Media History
· New Media and Society
· Space and Culture
· Theory, Culture & Society
Remember that these journals go back many years. Our expectation is that you will need to devote some time to roaming through past editions, reading the abstracts, skim-reading an article to make sure it fits (or you make it fit) one of the 12 `theory` topics we have introduced in the module.
But a word of caution here ... Be sure to avoid engaging with a Book Review` (all journals have these) since these are very different beasts to a `journal article` (a journal article has a word count usually running to about 7,000 words whereas a book review tends to be only around 1500 words). Also, note that the assessment expects you to evaluate what is theoretically interesting about your chosen article (i.e. not simply saying what is good or bad), stating why it is valuable for contradicting or supporting Media and Cultural theories introduced in the module syllabus.
Portfolio 3. Application of Theory to ‘real world’ illustrations I. Your task will be to apply Media and Cultural Theory (you are NOT to reproduce ‘theory’ used in the first or second task above, nor the fourth below). Your task will be to show applied understanding of theory in relation to your own worked examples. Note that Portfolio 4 immediately below is the same task as Portfolio 3 but asks for a different applied `Theory`. (pick one TV show or movie to apply chosen theory concept to it)
Portfolio 4. Application of Theory to ‘real world’ illustrations II. As above, your task will be to apply Media and Cultural Theory (do NOT reproduce ‘theory’ used in the first, second or third task above). Your task will be to show applied understanding of theory in relation to your own worked examples. (pick one TV show or movie to apply chosen theory concept to it)
You must choose one theory / concepts per portfolio only, and you can’t choose the same theory / concept twice.
When it comes to the final portfolio submission, you will collate your 4 x 500 word portfolio pieces into ONE complete submission (using sub-headings to clearly differentiate them) that will together constitute a total of 2,000 words. You will provide ONE bibliography that includes all cited source materials.
Demonstrate your learning
Please make sure that your assignment critically engages with the issues arising from the module and that you make use of appropriate theories and approaches studied on the module. We are assessing your learning and understanding of ideas on the module: therefore, if you don’t engage with these ideas you will not be able to pass (see learning outcomes). The Grade Based Assessment marking matrix you can acccess by clicking the link about will also give you guidance on how we will be assessing your work. If in doubt, ask for help!
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