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Researching media and culture

This course is not offered for study in the current academic year.

Course description

In our exploration of the nature of researching media and culture, this course will address a wide spectrum of issues including: What is the value of conducting media and cultural research?  What is the role of theory in research? How do you get started on your own research? A number of topics will be highlighted to demonstrate how social science research can be used to obtain a more informed account of how media and culture have come to characterize our lives in the new millennium.

Throughout the semester, students will be exposed to the basics of media and cultural research theories; qualitative and quantitative research designs; data collection, interpretation and presentation techniques.

Please note this course features a three-hour lecture.

Course learning outcomes

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Grasp and use research terminologies and concepts appropriately and effectively;
  • Examine how media and culture are analyzed through various social science perspectives and theories.
  • Formulate feasible research topic and plans and apply sociological theories to analyse complex issues in both the local and global contexts;
  • Employ qualitative and quantitative methods to research topic of choice (i.e. participant observation, interviews, surveys, and content analysis, etc.);
  • Evaluate key ethical and social issues pertaining to research in media and culture;
  • Present and critique a variety of research findings and methods and distinguish between “good” and “bad” research.


Individual fieldwork assignments40%
Group research project45%

Required reading

Berger, A. A. (2014). Media and communication research methods: An introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches. SAGE Publications, Incorporated. (Selected chapters)

Additional required readings will be listed on the course syllabus

Recommended reading

Curran, J., & Morley, D. (Eds.). (2007). Media and cultural theory. Routledge. (eBook available online)

Turkle, S. (2011). Life on the Screen. Simon and Schuster.

Course co-ordinator and teachers

Office opening hours adjustment