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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedSouth Africa First semester 2011 (Day)


Previously coded COM3050


This unit introduces students to the technological, social, economic and political forces driving the development, and adoption of new media and communications technologies. It examines case studies of when 'old technologies were new' such as the telegraph and radio as well as the social shaping of very recent examples of new media, such as Online Social Networking and Twitter. Instrumentalist, substantivist and technologically determinist perspectives on new media will be compared as a means of understanding the dynamic convergence of telecommunications, IT and media industries.


At the completion of this subject students are expected to:

  1. Have gained knowledge of the historical development of new media technologies; 2. Have developed an understanding of contemporary developments in communications internationally;
  2. Understand the processes and effects of media convergence, with particular reference to Internet and other emergent technologies;
  3. Have developed an understanding about the forces driving the information revolution;
  4. Have developed an understanding of the issues arising from mass adoption of new media technologies;
  5. Have developed the ability to critically assess the social, cultural, political impacts of communications developments.


Major essay (2250 words): 50%
Exam (1800 words): 40%
Tutorial participation (450 words equivalent): 10%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



Minor sequence in Communications or by approval