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COM4421 - Media, Social Relations and Power

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dr Susan Yell


Gippsland First semester 2007 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2007 (Off-campus)


The unit focuses on the social relations, including power relations, entailed in and connected to various media. It reviews some key theoretical approaches to understanding discourse, power, social relations and their mediation via communication technologies. Topics include media and ideology; theories of practice; discourse, power and governmentality; deconstruction and democracy; the public sphere; media as communication technologies; the politics of media address; globalisation, informationalism and post-industrialism; intercultural relations; imagining the nation and gendering the media.


On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Be literate in (familiar with and able to apply) a range of theoretical approaches to the analysis of media, social relations and power;
  2. Be able to formulate coherent and socially relevant investigations of media output and activity/audience usage, and undertake theoretically and methodologically sound description and analysis of empirical materials relating to these;
  3. Be able to demonstrate a developed knowledge of the social conditions, material practices, products and outcomes of various media and their possible relations to specific audiences/populations;
  4. Be able to demonstrate a capacity to draw on and adapt their unit-based knowledge to generate informed description and analysis of media instances, and to argue their own positions.


Essay 1 (2,500 words) : 20%
Seminar paper (2,500 words) : 20%
Essay 2 (4,000 words) : 40%

Contact hours

2 hours per week


First degree with a major in communications or a related discipline