Media and film studies

Social Media and Critical Practice B

Module code: P5089
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar, Workshop
Assessment modes: Coursework

Social media has become the way of framing much internet and mobile media and the implications of this turn are important. We use social media platforms in our everyday life and they have become influential in journalism, promotional culture, education and across the media industries. However, their pervasiveness and significance go unchallenged and are largely celebrated through the language of participation, communication and freedom. This module aims to stand back from the everyday ubiquity of these forms to question and analyse them by using them critically and creatively.

The module examines a range of social media platforms and equips you to analyse them critically. We look at the promise and perils of these new forms, the histories of their emergence, their institutional and structural shape and power, and the politics, economics, aesthetics and pleasures attached to them. In particular we look at the way in which race and gender intersect with issues such as algorthmic bias and surveillance. Critical methods are supplemented by digital methods used to analyse social media data which are developed across a series of workshops.


Module learning outcomes

  • Critically evaluate theoretical and substantive literature on social media.
  • Demonstrate ability to formulate academic inquiry around well-defined questions in relation to social media.
  • Apply theoretical knowledge to extend and develop understanding of social media cases.
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate complex written ideas and problems relating to social media.
  • Deploy digital methods to analyse social media