Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity

Key information

Start date
End date
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Centre for Global Media and Communications

Module overview

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.
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.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

• The module 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.


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

Scope and syllabus

• Introduction: diasporas and the media
• Space, Place and Identity
• Imagined threats and “migrant crises”: populist politics and the media
• Transnational Religion and digital media
• Debating multiculturalism: politics and policies
• Multiple identifications in the global metropolis
• Transnational music
• Diasporas and political mobilization in places of origin
• New social movements as global networks
• Diasporic cinema

Method of assessment

Assignment one – Book Review (1000 words); 20%
Assignment two - Essay (3000 words); 80%


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules