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SO341-15 Transnational Media Ecologies

Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Goldie Osuri
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

How do your #s make the world you live in?

Consider how you use facebook, twitter, whatsapp, or instagram. How many times in a day do you use social media platforms? How are you digitally networked? How do certain issues trend (e.g. #metoo)? How do you participate in events, issues or trends on social media? Once events or issues trend on social media, they may find their way into print or television, which you access on your personal device. How are social media platforms used by activists to highlight injustice or give momentum to social and political movements? How is ‘user-generated’ content also used for both profit and surveillance?

Learn to examine how these networks made of emotions, communications, identity assertions, activisms, and data harvesting & surveillance techniques form a media ecology. Consider how these issues, events or trends criss-cross (trans) national borders. What factors complicate these transnational crossings? How do colonial and postcolonial contexts or gender or race or class or sexuality, complicate these crossings? Learn to think through the ways in which human-technology relations are made and remade through ‘transnational media ecologies.’

Bring your digital smarts to this module, and we will work together to understand the world in sociological terms. We will look at ways in which governments, media, activists, corporations and people compete to influence the way you click, think, lol, love, hate, vote or want to change the world.

Module web page

Module aims

The aim of this optional module is to: (1) develop critical literacy regarding transnational digital networks and the media ecologies in which they function through which we make sense of contemporary political, social, and economic concerns. (2) develop an awareness of the sociological self in an interconnected digital world by fostering critical thinking and ethical skills regarding contemporary mediated social and political concerns. (3) develop an advanced understanding of a range of relevant theories and perspectives within media sociology and cultural studies through the case studies on transnationalism and media ecologies addressed in the module

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

This module will explore the ways in which our contemporary social, political and economic
events and concerns are made visible through transnational networks and through their media
ecologies. Through chosen case studies, the aim of the module will be to foster a historical
awareness and a critical literacy regarding the ways in which these political, social and economic
concerns are mediated. Emphasis will be placed on the intricate ways in which corporate and
governmental technologies of profit and surveillance interact with user and activist
considerations. These considerations include raced, gendered, classed, and queer politics
alongside affective affiliations and transnational solidarities across geopolitical contexts. The
module offers insights into ways of engaging with our digital environment, and the ways in which
we may diagram and diagnose how we engage in ethical terms with political, social and economic
concerns in the networked world in which we live.

Provisional Outline 1. Media Ecology and Transnational Networks 2. Mediality: Archive, Remediation & Hashtags 3. Mediality: Virality and Affect 4. Assemblages: Platforms & Surveillance 5. Assemblages: Race, Brutality & Resistance 6. Viral and Transnational (Palestine/Israel I) 7. Viral and Transnational (Palestine/Israel II) 8. Viral and Transnational (Kashmir/Palestine) 9. Viral and Transnational (Kashmir) 10. Mediality – Lessons & Futures (Wrap Up)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate a critical literacy regarding current political, social, and economic concerns as they emerge through transnational media ecologies through oral and written expression and argument
  • demonstrate an ability to communicate an understanding of theoretical concepts and analysis of case studies of transnational media ecologies through seminar discussion with peers and through oral, visual and written expression
  • demonstrate ability to engage creatively and ethically with module material by working on collaborative group projects with peers
  • demonstrate a capacity to be reflexive of one's location in relation to local and transnational perspectives
  • demonstrate an advanced ability to compare, evaluate, and analyse different perspectives and approaches to transnational media ecologies and locate and assess module material within the broader discipline of Sociology
Indicative reading list

Aouragh, Miriyam 2011, ‘Confined Offline, Traversing Online: Palestinian Mobility
through the Prism of the Internet, Mobilities 6.3: 375-397.
Castells, M 2000, The Rise of the Network Society, Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Clough, P 2008, ‘The Affective Turn: Political Economy, Biomedia, Bodies’, Theory, Culture, Society, 25 (1): 1-22.
Dasgupta, S 2007, Constellations of the Transnational: Modernity, Culture, Critique, Amsterdam, Rodopi.
Emejulu, A & McGregor, C 2016. ‘Towards a Radical Digital Citizenship in digital education’, Critical Studies in Education. DOI: 10.1080/17508487.2016.1234494
Gane, N, and Beer, D 2008, New Media: The Key Concepts, London, Bloomsbury
Grewal, I 2005, Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms, Durham,
NC, Duke University Press.
Grusin, Richard. 2010, Premediation: Affect and Mediality after 9/11. London: Palgrave Macmillan
1 – 61.
Haven, M 2013, Virality, Solidarity and Meme Warfare, Canadian Dimension, September/October.
Ince, Jelani, Rojas, Fabio & Clayton A. Davis. 2017. ‘The Social Media Response to Black Lives Mattter: how twitter users interact with Black Lives Matter through hashtag use’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 40 (11): 1814 – 1830.
Junaid, Mohamed 2013, ‘Death and Life Under Occupation: Space, Violence, and
Memory in Kashmir’ in K. Visweswaran (ed) Everyday Occupations: Experiencing
Militarism in South Asia and the Middle East, Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press. 158-190.
Marcus, GE and Saka, E 2006, ‘Assemblage’, Theory, Culture & Society 23 (2-3): 101-105.
Phillips, J 2006, ‘Agencement/Assemblage’, Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2-3): 108-109.
Sampson, TD 2012, Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks, Minneapolis, MN,University of Minnesota Press.
Scolari, Carlos. E. “Media Ecology: Expanding the Metaphor to Expand the Theory.”
Communication Theory 22 (2012): 204 – 225.
Sengupta, Shudhabrata 2013, ‘Facebook, Youtube, Kashmir’, in Sanjay Kak 2013
(ed) Until My Freedom Has Come: The New Intifada in Kashmir, Chicago, IL:
Haymarket. 71-85.
Sharma, Sanjay. 2012. Black Twitter? Racial Hashtags, Networks and Contagion. New Formations 78. pp. 46 -64.
Tufecki, Zeynap. Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest. New Haven & London: Yale UP, 2017. Print.
Venn, Couze 2006, ‘A Note on Assemblage’, Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2-3): 107-108.
Papacharissi, Zizi 2015, ‘Affective Publics and Structures of Storytelling: sentiment,
events and mediality’, Information, Communication and Society, 19.3: 307 – 324.

Research element

Researching engagement with sociological concepts and social media case studies


The module draws on media studies and sociology


The module deals with transnational circulations of events/phenomena on social media

Subject specific skills
  • a systematic understanding of key aspects of sociology in relation to studies of media, including acquisition of coherent and detailed knowledge, at least some of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of defined aspects of a discipline

  • an ability to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within sociology

  • conceptual understanding that enables the student:

    • to devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and
      techniques, some of which are at the forefront of sociology and media studies
    • to describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or
      equivalent advanced scholarship, in the discipline
  • an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge

  • the ability to manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to the discipline).

  • apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects

  • critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem

  • communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Transferable skills

the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

    • the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility
    • decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts
    • the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a
      professional or equivalent nature.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Seminars 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Private study 132 hours (88%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Reading for seminars.
Preparation for seminars
Preparation of podcast summative assessment through group work
Preparation and writing of formative work
Preparation and writing of summative work

Other work related to assessment.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A2
Weighting Study time
Group Podcast 50%

A 3-minute podcast based on group work

Media Report 50%

A 1500 -word Media Report on a case study

Feedback on assessment

Written feedback on podcast assessment; written feedback for formative media report; written feedback on final assessment


This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 3 of USOA-L301 BA in Sociology
  • Year 3 of ULAA-ML33 Undergraduate Law and Sociology

This module is Optional for:

  • USOA-L301 BA in Sociology
    • Year 3 of L301 Sociology
    • Year 3 of L301 Sociology
    • Year 3 of L301 Sociology
  • Year 4 of USOA-L306 BA in Sociology (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 3 of UETA-X3Q5 Undergraduate Language, Culture and Communication
  • Year 3 of USOA-L314 Undergraduate Sociology and Criminology

This module is Unusual option for:

  • UPHA-V7ML Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics
    • Year 3 of V7ML Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Tripartite)
    • Year 3 of V7ML Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Tripartite)
    • Year 3 of V7ML Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Tripartite)

This module is Option list A for:

  • ULAA-ML34 BA in Law and Sociology (Qualifying Degree)
    • Year 3 of ML34 Law and Sociology (Qualifying Degree)
    • Year 4 of ML34 Law and Sociology (Qualifying Degree)
  • Year 5 of ULAA-ML35 BA in Law and Sociology (Qualifying Degree) (with Intercalated year)
  • Year 3 of USOA-L301 BA in Sociology
  • Year 4 of ULAA-ML33 Undergraduate Law and Sociology

This module is Option list B for:

  • USOA-L301 BA in Sociology
    • Year 3 of L304 Sociology with Specialism in Research Methods
    • Year 3 of L302 Sociology with Specialism in Social Policy
  • Year 3 of UPOA-ML13 Undergraduate Politics and Sociology
  • Year 4 of UPOA-ML14 Undergraduate Politics and Sociology (with Intercalated year)