ATS2323 - Media anthropology: Power, culture and representation - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit


Chief examiner(s)

Dr Birgit Braeuchler


Dr Birgit Braeuchler

Not offered in 2019


Anthropology gateway units or by permission.


The unit explores how media are adopted, adapted and made use of in different cultural contexts. Contemporary anthropologists understand sociocultural groups as strategic users of media technologies that contribute to ever more novel tools for political self-representation. Media are conceptualized in a broad sense, including traditional mainstream media, small and alternative media, as well as social media. The unit provides an overview of the history of and theories in media anthropology and the specific contributions it can make to the broader field of media studies. It covers topics such as politics of representation, news, nation-building, religion, conflict, indigeneity and media activism. In this unit, we deconstruct common notions of active media producers and passive media recipients and analyse how media practices influence social and cultural dynamics (and the other way around) and question or redefine established social convention.


Upon completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. identify and critically engage with anthropology theories and concepts about use of media at every level of society;
  2. develop and adapt anthropological approaches and methods to analyse increasing mediatization;
  3. explain how culture shapes the adoption and adaption of a broad range of media;
  4. recognise and discuss media representations as political interventions and the role of media in political and community advocacy;
  5. read, think and respond reflectively and critically to global issues and challenges;
  6. utilise developing academic qualitative research skills to locate, link, critically analyse and communicate theory and evidence.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

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