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MCH3085 : Digital Discourses and Identity (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Majid Khosravinik
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


1-       To extend students’ conceptual understanding around digital media communications
2-       To provide an in-depth approach in analysing digitally mediated communication contents and practices
3-       To explain how traditional concepts in media and cultural studies can be applied in the new digital context along with challenges and redefinitions
4-       To equip students with conceptual and methodological tools to carry out primary research on social media discourses around various aspects of personal and collective identity
5-       To familiarise students with approaches to digital ethnography, discourse analysis in digital media environment and ways to devise a critical synergy between ‘old’ and new theories and methods.
6-       To familiar students with macro industrial contexts in which social media work e.g. attention economy, digital economy of platforms and critique of corporatisation of participatory web.

The module will discuss digital media theories and the impacts of social media interactions on issues of representation, self-perception, and cultural understandings in the society. It provides a set of explicit concepts in relations to the way digital media spaces and user practices and the way digital media consumption should be viewed as a new paradigm of communication in contrast to traditional media. The module provides the necessary scholarship for digital media studies with an emphasis on analysing what people say on social media, what they do through and via their digital connections and interactions and how the technology is implicated in the way certain discourses, presentations, understandings and cultural views are consolidated in the contemporary society especially among the youth. It emphasises the social nature of research on digital discourses (i.e. all forms of digital content e.g. memes, language, videos, comments, smileys, selfies, annotations, and practices e.g. patterns of Likes, Sharing, networks, etc.) in different social, political and cultural contexts from issues of gender representation, lifestyle and interpersonal relations to digital hate speech and politics of protests and nationalism. The module is built on an emerging field of study under the rubrics of Social Media Discourse Studies and Social Media Techno-Discursive Analysis by the module leader. It engages students to focus on everyday social media practices e.g. self-representation of teenagers Instagram with a critical and theoretical lens in order to carry out an in-depth analysis at the intersection of contemporary culture, digital media technologies and discourse analysis. The module encourages students to concentrate on a digital topic of their choice and carry a step by step three legged research based assessment tasks based on the topic.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered:
Social Media Theories
Digital Discourse and Society
Digital Representational Power
Digital identity & the Youth
Digital Ethnography/observations
Digital Political Economy
Multimodal Digital representations
Digital Self Representation
Digital Nationalism and populism
Social Media Discourse Studies
Techno-Discursive Analysis

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 Presentation152M1510 - 15 minutes. Scheduled 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 social media communication space (as defined in the course) e.g. Wiki, Instagram, 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 contextualisation of the chosen 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