Module Details

SC364-6-FY-CO: Mass Media And Modern Life

Year: 2017/18
Department: Sociology
Essex credit: 30
ECTS credit: 15
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: Yes
Outside Option: Yes

Supervisor: Dr Rachel Duffett (SP Term), Professor Sean Nixon (AU Term)
Teaching Staff: Professor Sean Nixon (Aut), Dr Rachel Duffett (Spr)
Contact details: Jane Harper, Undergraduate Administrator, Telephone: 01206 873052 E-mail:

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

The module charts the period of intensive developments in new communication technologies from the latter part of the nineteenth century through to the inter-war years and considers the impact of these new mass media on social and cultural life in Britain from the 1860s through to the present day. From the emergence of new forms of print culture, through the impact of radio, cinema, television to the mass production and distribution of recorded music, the module in particular explores the role of these new media in shaping distinctive forms of mass culture. A central ambition of the module is to historically chart the formation and development of these forms of mass culture and also to reflect upon the public debates associated with their emergence. The course is framed by a concern to grasp the importance of the modern mass media at a point when new technological developments in the means of communication are signalling its dissolution.

Learning and Teaching Methods

1 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar weekly


50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark


2 Essays

Exam Duration and Period

3:00 during Summer Examination period.


  • I. Chambers Popular Culture, The Metropolitan Experience, Routledge, 1986
  • J. Donald Sentimental Education, Verso, 1992
  • P. Joyce Visions of the People, CUP, 1991
  • B. Waites et al (eds) Popular Culture: Past and Present, Cron Helm, 1992
  • J. Corner (ed) Popular Television in Britain, BFI, 1991
  • R. McKibbin Classes and Cultures, England 1918-1951, Oxford University Press, 1998

Further information