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7AAICC26 Gender, Media and Culture

Module convenor: Dr Christina Scharff
Credits: 20
Teaching pattern: Ten one-hour lectures and ten one-hour seminars
Module description:

Do men and women produce different kinds of news? Have we experienced a sexualisation of culture? And what can a feminist approach contribute to our understanding of the creative industries? This module aims at developing students’ understanding of gender, media and culture in a time of rapid globalisation and digitisation. Students will acquire theoretical and methodological tools to study gender in the media, and across a range of contemporary cultural phenomena. This course will take an intersectional approach, considering how gender intersects with race, class and sexuality. 

The module establishes the conceptual and historical context for studying gender in contemporary society and explores several key topics and case studies, including the rise of neoliberalism and debates around the sexualisation of culture.

This class requires students to think critically about the media worlds around them. We will analyse a range of media forms and events – including magazines, mobile phones, social media, advertising, art and protest movements – and examine the gendered aspects of their cultural production, consumption and regulation.

Draft teaching syllabus

Week 1: Gender concepts and theories

Week 2: Analysing Gender in Media Texts

Week 3: Postfeminist Media Culture

Week 4: Neoliberalism, individualisation and the entrepreneurial self

Week 5: Gender and cultural work

Week 6: Gender, Technology & Product Design

Week 7: Gender and Digital Culture

Week 8: The Sexualisation of Culture?

Week 9: Gender and Art

Week 10: Essay Workshop

Module aims

  • Students will develop an advanced understanding of the ways in which gender relations are socially and culturally constructed, and the role of media and cultural representations in reproducing, but also subverting, hegemonic gender norms
  • Students will be able to critique key issues in relation to gender, media and culture
  • Students will be able to contrast the core arguments of different gender and cultural theories

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to communicate theoretical concepts both orally and in writing, integrating the appropriate literature to support their positions
  • Students will be able to apply theoretical tools and methodological approaches to analyse a range of contemporary media texts and cultural phenomena
  • Students will be able to write essays that reflect a critical and scholarly engagement with issues of gender, media and culture

Core reading

    • Banet-Weiser, S. (2018). Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny. Durham: Duke University Press.
    • Crenshaw, K. (2019). On Intersectionality: Essential Writings. New York: The New Press.
    • Dobson, A. (2015) Postfeminist Digital Cultures: Femininity, Social Media and Self-representation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Duffy, B.E. (2017) (Not) getting paid to do what you love: Gender, social media, and aspirational work. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
    • Gill, R. (2007) Gender and the Media. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    • Gill, R. and C. Scharff (2011) New Femininities: Postfeminism, Neoliberalism, and Subjectivity. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Jackson, S. (2014). Black Celebrity, Racial Politics, and the Press. New York: Routledge.  
    • Kearney, M. (2012) The Gender and Media Reader. New York: Routledge.
    • Lazar, M. M. (2005) (ed.) Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis: Gender, Power and Ideology in Discourse. London: Palgrave.
    • Leung, W.F.W. (2018). Digital Entrepreneurship, Gender and Intersectionality: An East Asian Perspective. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • McRobbie, A. (2009) The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change. London: Sage.
    • McLaughlin, L. and Carter, C. (2012) Current Perspectives in Feminist Media Studies, Routledge, London.
    • Rottenberg, C. (2018) The rise of neoliberal feminism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • Skeggs, B. (1997). Formations of Class and Gender. London: Sage.
    • Tyler, I. (2013). Revolting Subjects: Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain. London: Zed Books.


1 x 4,000 word essay (100%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

 The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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