Module Catalogue 2016/17

COM2075 : Representations: Identity, Culture and Society

  • Offered for Year: 2016/17
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gareth Longstaff
  • Lecturer: Dr Clifton Evers
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module forms part of the BA (Hons) Media, Communication and Cultural Studies degree. The module examines the relationship between representation and the production of meaning through analysis of a diverse range of contemporary socio-cultural themes, sites and texts. It aims to enable students to interrogate and develop a thorough understanding of the critical links between representation, identity and culture in a transnational frame.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module introduces key theoretical and methodological frameworks for the study of representations, with particular attention to discursive approaches and feminist, postcolonial and queer perspectives. It examines how identities and subjectivities are formed, in part, through systems of representation involving complex intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, nation, ability, religion and culture. The discussion focuses on the representation of ‘the other’ and the production of difference, as well as the capacity of marginal subjects and communities to challenge mainstream representations and negotiate their identities. The module interrogates links among representation, identity, culture and power through analysis of specific themes including, class and consumption; gender, (post)feminism and popular culture; race, sexuality and discourses of terrorism; and compassion and media representations of suffering. Examples are drawn from a wide array of media and cultural texts, including those within film, television, magazines, newspapers, art, literature, advertising, music, photography, and the internet.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

• An awareness and understanding of the links among representation, identity, culture and power in a transnational frame.
• A critical knowledge of the ways that contemporary social issues are represented along axes of social division such as gender, race, class, sexuality, nation, age, ability and culture.
• A thorough knowledge of key theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of representations and identities.

Intended Skill Outcomes

• An ability to deal with complex issues and engage critically with key debates and intellectual paradigms that may be found in cultural studies, media studies, sociology, politics and communication studies with respect to concerns of representation.
• An ability to analyse closely, interpret and evaluate the theoretical and methodological foundations of those intellectual paradigms when examining particular socio-cultural issues
• An ability to apply appropriate theories and methods to the critical analysis of representations with reference to specific socio-cultural themes, sites and texts.
• An ability to effectively communicate information, argument and analysis in a variety of forms.
• To enhance personal responsibility, decision making and team working skills that may be transferable to employment contexts.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Data Synthesis : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Assessed
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Present
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Assessed
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Assessed
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Assessed
      • Peer Assessment Review : Present
  • Application
    • Occupational Awareness : Assessed
    • Commercial Acumen
      • Governance Awareness : Present
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Assessed

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading120:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity140:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity120:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study134:0034:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module examines the links among representation, identity, culture and power and introduces key theoretical and methodological approaches for the study of representations and identities. It uses the formal lectures to provide an initial guide to impart this knowledge via interactive sessions. Weekly seminars are employed to allow smaller group discussion and activities which enable critical engagement with key themes, concepts and frameworks. Students also participate in planning and facilitating group presentations in seminars. Together, the lectures and seminars provide the basis through which advanced study of the power relations shaping media and cultural representation in a transnational world can take place. Alongside the lectures and seminars, weekly drop-in tutorials with the students will take place to provide extra support as and where necessary. These tutorials will invite students to reflect on their own learning practices, leading them to consider the areas they need further support and guidance.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation301A25Group Presentation, scheduled by School
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1M15Evidence of group work plus a 1000 word critical account relating to individual contribution to presentation.
Essay1A60Essay, 2500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

There are three assessment strategies. The presentation will be group based and will assess critical, theoretical engagement with course themes and concepts, as well as communication and presentation skills, with a view to enhancing inter-personal and organisational capacities. This will be marked as a group. The presentation will be supported by a portfolio of evidence, which will document when the group met, the notes that the individual made and the work undertaken by the individual to support the presentation. The portfolio will also include a 1000 word critical account relating to student's own contribution to the presentation and how their slide materials/resources address the presentation brief. The third part of the assessment involves the writing of a 2500 word essay to be selected from a list of questions relating to key topics and themes addressed on the module. Critical thinking will be assessed across all three assessments and academic research, writing and referencing skills will be assessed via the portfolio and essay assignments in particular.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2016/17 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2017/18 entry will be published here in early-April 2017. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.