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Popular Culture, Media and Society - SOC00060I

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  • Department: Sociology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Emma Casey
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module explores the links and intersections between popular culture, media and society, which can shape our world-views and define aspects of our everyday lives. You will find out why ‘glossy’ topics such as fashion, music, celebrities, influencers and social media, which may seem frivolous, and are significant and learn about conceptual and empirical frameworks for understanding these contemporary preoccupations.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

What is popular culture and why does it matter? This module aims to explore the links and intersections between popular culture, media and society. It is at these intersections that we find some of the defining aspects of contemporary everyday life, where we encounter the resources that shape our world-views and become embodied in how we live. The module will clarify why understanding the connections between popular culture, media and society is of importance – especially so in the current climate where such ‘glossy’ topics (such as fashion, music, celebrities, influencers, social media) may seem frivolous and insignificant. You will examine exactly why these things are significant and why we should develop conceptual and empirical frameworks for understanding them.

Module learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the sociological significance of popular culture and its dissemination through contemporary media.

2. Demonstrate your ability to think critically and creatively about the sociological connections between popular culture, media and society

3. Work collaboratively in teams to foster critical approaches to the study of the social implications of media and popular culture.

4. Organise, present, and communicate your ideas clearly and effectively to others

5. Evaluate and synthesise a range of theoretical and empirical work that has been conducted into popular culture and the media

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Book Review 1500 words
N/A 50
Group based podcast
N/A 50

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Book review 1500 words
N/A 50
Presentation script : Individual podcast
N/A 50

Module feedback

For formative work - writing task - students will receive written or verbal feedback on how to improve their skills in areas that will contribute towards their summative assessment. The formative assessment provides practice for the summative tasks, which are in line with MLO 4-5.

For summative work - book review and podcast - students will receive an overall mark and grading according to clearly defined criteria for assessing their knowledge, skills and abilities in line with MLO 1-5. They will also receive written feedback showing areas in which they have done well, and those areas in which they need to improve that will contribute to their progress.

Indicative reading

Hesmondhalgh, D. (2007). The Cultural Industries (2nd Edition).

Strinati, D. (2004) An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture (2nd ed.)

Storey, J. (2000). Cultural Theory, Popular Culture: An Introduction.

Storey, J. (1994). Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.