SOAS University of London

Centre for Global Media and Communications

Theoretical Issues in Global Media and Communication

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Term 1

Global and digital media are increasingly shaping the way we deal with concerns and issues that matter to entities, institutions, businesses, communities and governments. In an age of continuous crisis, such as the current Covid-19, media in all its forms, but particularly digital media, has become our main connection to the world and what we know about it. The implications of media’s embeddedness in everything we do as well in how governments and state engage with us demand scrutiny and analysis, not to least to address what drives media’s choices and what drives people’s use of and engagement with media. The aim of this interdisciplinary module is to offer a historical and critical survey of contemporary global media and communication theory and its application to the regions we study. It examines the interface between mainstream global media and communication theory and a variety of other perspectives and approaches applied to the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, including globalisation, political economy, critical theory, cultural studies, political communication and post-structuralism. The module will investigate central questions related to how we apply media and communication theories to the peoples of the regions we study, while also situating these questions in socio-political contexts, expanding globalisation processes as well as questions of access and control.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

• An understanding of contemporary global media and communication theory applied to the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East
• A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the relationship between a variety of contemporary theory and cross-cultural study of global media and communication
• A comprehensive understanding of the variety of methodologies that these approaches offer the student of the cultures of Asia and Africa
• The ability to record and reflect on the relevance of these approaches to her or his areas of research, particularly with regard to methodological application
• The ability to critically evaluate a variety of books, journals and other sources of information relevant to the topics studied on the course
• The ability to produce detailed written work on at least two approved topics relevant to the course


The module will be taught over 10 weeks with one 1 hour lecture and one 1 hour tutorial per week

Scope and syllabus

• Why study global media?
• Political economy of Global Media
• Networks and convergence
• Critical media approaches – public sphere and its critiques
• The problem of audiences
• Global and local: new spatiality’s of politics, media and culture
• Global media, nation/citizenship
• Media and power -post-structuralist approaches
• Global media and social movements
• Disruptions/activism- the potential of global media?

Method of assessment

Assignment one – Book Review (600-800 words); 20%
Assignment two -Essay (3000 words); 80%


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules