SOAS University of London

Centre for Global Media and Communications

Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 2
A central component of globalization is the mass movements of people and the consequent growth of a variety of communities and networks whose lives are played out across and beyond national borders. Media and communications are central to the lives and practices of such collectivities and take many different forms.


  • This Module is capped at 25 places
  • Students enrol via the online Module Sign-Up system. Students are advised of the timing of this process via email by the Faculty Office

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Many diasporas have developed a range of media channels to bind members and maintain connection with the homeland. Religious communities are amongst the biggest transnational media players, for example in the development of Christian broadcasting channels or the multiplicity of sites for Koranic interpretation on the Net. Transnational political activity is fostered and coordinated through the use of media, the Net and mobile telephony. These practices do not fit into classic studies of national mass media or even international communication. These are new and still emergent practices, growing out of the contemporary lived experience of transnational communities and networks strung out across a variety of locations. They complicate models of 'the West and the Rest' and raise important questions about the limitations of available models of both communications and collectivities.

The course introduces students to the key theoretical debates around the network society, identity-formation and representation, and engages them in the critical analysis of the communicative practices of select transnational communities. It will also invite students to think reflexively about their own life trajectory and identity-formation. 

Method of assessment

Book review of 1,000 words worth 20% of the final mark, essay of 3,000 words worth 80% of the final mark


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules