Media and film studies

Consuming Passions

Module code: V3036
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module explores consumption practices within specific social, cultural and historical contexts. It will build upon other modules you have undertaken throughout your degree and enable you to draw interim conclusions to processes through which people make sense of objects – and other culturally significant things – and how they are appropriated into everyday life. It also explores consumption as a basic human activity through which people engage with and understand their position in the world. It will locate social, historical and culturally specific consumption practices within wider processes of identity-creation and differentiation. Finally, consumption will be discussed in the context of the development of 'consumer cultures' and globalisation.

'Consuming Passions' will take a dynamic and deliberately interdisciplinary approach to a number of key concepts central to the study of 'culture'. It will draw upon and critically examine the variety of ways in which cultural and sub-cultural groups acquire, interpret, use and develop such things as film, music, food, sexuality, fashion, literature and art, and include the study of material and visual cultures.

The weekly topics are related and have been chosen deliberately to interact with one another in intriguing and unexpected ways. You are strongly encouraged to make original and imaginative leaps and connections during seminar discussions and in both your coursework and your extended essays, in which you may also re-examine, in greater depth, some of the topics you may have encountered in earlier modules.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a coherent and specialist knowledge of theoretical texts relating to consumption, consumerism and consumer culture;
  • Identify, describe and evaluate leading contemporary scholarship across a range of disciplines and engaging with different aspects of consumption;
  • Select and appropriately analyse relevant case studies, orally and in written form, in the light of perspectives offered in the module, and demonstrating an awareness of the spatial and temporal specificities of such studies;
  • Work effectively, independently and collaboratively, to research and critically engage with primary and secondary sources to develop an independent line of argument.