Study Abroad and Exchanges



MCH3085 : Digital Discourses and Identity

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


1.       To extend students’ depth of knowledge of emerging communicative dynamic and discursive practices on various platforms of participatory web.
2. To extend the students’ knowledge of theoretical challenges of researching participatory media vis-à-vis mass media and the consequences of changing dynamic of media power. 3. To impart students’ with the critical understanding of ways to do critical textual and media analysis of the new media environments and their social, political and cultural impacts. 4. To familiarize students with approaches to discourse analysis in the new media environment and ways to devise a critical synergy between ‘old’ and new theories and methods. 5. To extend students’ knowledge in critical understanding and analysis of various discourses of identity - personal to collective representation of Self and Other- on various social media. 6. To introduce students to emerging requirement of interdiciplinarity in research by combining critical discourse analysis and new media theories.

The module will problematize and discuss a working definition of what can be referred to participatory web from a communicative point of view. It problematizes the notion of media and audiences’ power in the new context and provides a critical distinction between communicative paradigms of interpersonal, mass and social communication and the assumed positions of socio-political power. It discusses different research based case studies on how the new communicative affordances impacts different societies extending from traditional to modern societies. The module provides a concentration on a form of critical textual analysis within new media affordances and provides an overview of a proposed interdisciplinary research methodology to suit the new environment. It engages students to focus on everyday social media communicative practices e.g. self-representation of teenagers on Facebook with a critical and theoretical lens. The module also encourages students to adopt a multifaceted approach in their cases studies which moves between micro-communicative analysis to macro-contextual grounding and adopts a multimodal analysis of meaning on the web.

Outline Of Syllabus

The following topics will be developed:
1-       Module Introduction: Themes in Media & Discourse Analysis
2-       Media Discourse: Immigration
3-       Dynamic of power in traditional and digital media
4-       Social Media theories and critique
5-       Multimodality in CDA: Social Media and other modes of communication
6-       Online ethnography and Discourse
7-       Identity as a social construct
8-       Digital Discourse Analysis: Persian nationalism
9-       How to do Social Media Critical Discourse Studies
10-       Discourse, Society and Assumptions
11-       Media Discourse: Self and Other in political contexts
12-       Conclusions: overview and recap

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion182:0082:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study182:0082:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship


Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation102M15Scheduled by module leader
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M201000 word reflective report of the chosen case study
Essay2A652000 word academic essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The presentation requires students to choose a particular case study on a given participatory web platform e.g. Wiki, Facebook, LinkedIn and present the case in terms of its nature, participatory affordances, impact, scale, relevance and social-cultural consequences by drawing on some relevant theories and concepts. Students will write a report of the presentation and the case by drawing on the feedback from their presentation.
The essay is a 2000 word piece of assessment, which will include a theoretical contextualization of the case, a main data analytical section and critical reflections. The essay allows students to demonstrate critical and evaluative skills and stresses the importance of working to deadline.

Reading Lists