Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Sociology and Communications

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit is designed to investigate the role of individuals in society. It develops an understanding of different sociological approaches. It also explains the meaning and role of culture and socialisation in the construction of identity. During this study-unit, emphasis is made on the role of media technology in everyday life. It explores the impact of mass media and the way texts are reproduced and received instantaneously in a globalised world.

Study-unit Content:

- The sociological imagination;
- Culture, identity, and the socialisation process;
- Sociological perspectives;
- Postmodernism, diversity and identity;
- Globalisation and information technology;
- Capitalism, neo-liberalism and 'cool' capitalism;
- Representations of gender in mass media;
- Youth, the making of teenage and the spread of popular culture;
- Ethnicity and diaspora;
- Theorizing the media;
- Analysing audiences;
- Overview: The sociological imagination in context.

Study-Unit Aims:

The aims of this study-unit are to:

- develop an understanding of key sociological themes and perspectives;
- employ critical thinking in the interpretation and sociological analysis on media and communication;
- evaluate and apply various sociological theories to current social issues in Maltese society and beyond;
- acquire a sociological imagination and interpret sociologically everyday life experiences;
- stimulate critical abilities through the use of interactive pedagogical techniques during lectures.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Identify and analyse different sociological approaches with reference to media and communication;
- Describe how individuals are shaped through basic social processes of culture, by understanding micro-level social interaction;
- Become familiarised with different sociological approaches in and be able to articulate basic concepts, theories, and modes of explanation and apply them to specific contexts.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Develop the ability to apply sociological concepts to current issues that affect individuals in society;
- Demonstrate critical thinking skills and clearly formulate sociological arguments in writing;
- Reflect on one's own social standing by acquiring a sociological imagination;
- Aid students in their undergraduate studies, within a variety of fields, by encouraging the development of critical thinking about social issues.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Castells, M. (1996). The Rise of the Network Society. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, vol.I, Oxford: Blackwell.
- Giddens, A. & Sutton, P., (2013). Sociology, (7th edition). Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Mills, C.W. (1970).The Sociological Imagination. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Supplementary Readings:

- DeNora, T. (2000). Music in Everyday Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- McGuigan, J. (2009). Cool Capitalism, London: Pluto Press.
- Mitchell, J.P. (2002). Ambivalent Europeans, Ritual, Memory and the Public Sphere in Malta. London: Routledge.
- Rifkin, J. (2000). The Age of Access. The New Culture of Hypercapitalism, Where All of Life is a Paid-For Experience. New York: Penguin Putnam.
- Savage, J. (2008).Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945. London: Pimlico.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Mariella Debono

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.