Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media (online)

Key information

Year of study
Module code
Centre for Global Media and Communications

Module overview

This module addresses a central component of contemporary globalization that is the mass movement 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 of such collectivities and serve many different purposes: political, cultural, economic. The course takes a transdisciplinary and historical approach to these issues. It introduces students to the key theoretical debates around transnational collectivities, including networks and diasporas, their media practices and uses of communication. It explores issues around identity-formation and representation and the debates about the rise of populist xenophobia after multiculturalist politics for decades in the UK and elsewhere. The course also invites students to think reflexively about your own life trajectory, cultural consumption and identity-formation.

Students will gain an interdisciplinary social science foundation, that brings together theorical grounding in anthropology, sociology and media studies. By engaging with a series of key debates related to transnational communities and their media practices, the students will gain an understanding of the underlying processes which are shaping personal identities and global cultures.

The readings in the module include a mix of seminal articles/work by academics from a diversity of disciplines including media reports and academic articles.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Acquire an informed insight into the theories to do with transnational communities and their media
  • Understand the key debates about transnational communities
  • Develop the skills needed for further independent research, writing and thinking about transnational communications
  • Develop the ability to think critically, with reference to theoretical and empirical (historical and/or contemporary) content about transnational communities

Scope and syllabus

Topic list
  1. Introduction:  module overview and discussion of themes
  2. Space, place and identity
  3. Imagined threats and “migrant crises”: borders, politics and the media
  4. Transnational religion and digital communications
  5. Social media and the diasporic everyday
  6. Ethnic minority media
  7. Diasporas and hate speech
  8. Multiculturalism: politics, policies and the media
  9. Multiple identifications in the metropolis: London and beyond
  10. Diasporas, nationalisms and political mobilization
  11. Diasporic cinema
  12. New social movements as global networks


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules