Module Information

Module Identifier
PS21520
Module Title
Gender and the Media
Academic Year
2018/2019
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Dr Jane Morgan (Principal Lecturer - Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Dr Jelena Havelka (Lecturer - University of Leeds)
 

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 4000 words  70%
Semester Assessment Group verbal presentation  1 x 25 minute (incl. 5 mins for questions)  30%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 4000 words  70%
Supplementary Assessment Individual verbal presentation  1 x 25 minute (incl. 5 mins for questions)  30%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Examine and evaluate a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of gender, and representations of gender in the media.

Evaluate the effectiveness of differing representations of gender in the context of wider social changes.

Critically evaluate the influences of society, media and psychology on gendered behaviour.

Critically evaluate various research methods used in the study of gender representation in the media.

Demonstrate ability to conduct effective and valid literature searches for essays and presentations.

Brochure Text

‘The media’ is a very broad field; with many of us watching TV and films, reading newspapers and magazines, and surfing the internet and engaging with social media networks [e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.], it is almost impossible to avoid popular culture and advertising, and thus its effect on our lives. This module will explore the relationship between gender and media and how both impact on our own sense of identity. Some might argue that the media, in its different forms, has a direct and straightforward effect on us as consumers; that we somehow ‘borrow’ or copy identities. However, this assumption does not adequately account for the complex interaction between what we see as contemporary audiences, and how we think of ourselves; in other words, considering the role of the media in the formation and negotiation of gender and sexual identities.
The rationale for studying gender and the media is that it can illuminate broader aspects of gender and identity formation, the ‘power’ of the media and audience alike, as well as social, behavioural, emotional, cultural, and biological facets which impact on changing representations of gender in contemporary society.

Brief description

Gender is an organizing feature of the majority of societies, and this means, for many people, experiencing gender-based (in)equalities. In this module we will explore how gender has been researched and theorized in psychology and beyond. We will develop an in-depth understanding of contemporary, interdisciplinary approaches to the study of gender and will consider a range of contemporary issues, debates and topics relating to gender. In the module we will consider contemporary constructions of masculinity(ies) and femininity(ies) and the implications these have for gendered practices and subjectivities/experiences in the media. There will be weekly lectures, followed by a period of workshop/seminar based activities [group presentations] in which students will be asked to demonstrate the development of their critical thinking from a selection of topics. Students will be able to explore one of the topics covered during the lectures in greater detail in an essay assignment.

Content

Key topics covered by the module will include:
Feminist history; postfeminism; gender and media representation: body politics and consumer culture; methods for analyzing gender in media texts;
neoliberalism and ‘new femininities’.

This module will be made up of lectures, seminars and group presentation tutorials.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not directly applicable, however, in the reading of relevant research papers students will be required to understand any statistical methods and analyses used.
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these for various target audiences. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic and to focus on the objectives of their argument or discussion. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication. Fellow students will be encouraged to question their peers to critique their approach or to suggest areas for the development of the chosen topic; in turn each will discuss the contributions and ideas of the other.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context which encourages students to consider their own learning styles, and those of others in their presentation groups [which may be different to their own]; this will be supported by the facilitator. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, and deciding the direction of their essay. The need to present verbal presentations and to meet an essay deadline will focus students’ attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and PsychArticles). Students will be expected to be able to employ powerpoint for their verbal presentations.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will help students gain a greater insight into gender representation in different media. Lecture and seminar discussions will help to develop students’ verbal and presentation skills, and their ability to work in a group. These transferable skills will help students develop their ability to target information to differing audiences, apply psychological theory to problem solve real world cases and source literature. The module will also promote the understanding that psychology deals with everyday behaviours which are relevant and applicable to every student’s life.
Problem solving Group and independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of an essay will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems both in group work and individually will be developed and assessed by asking them to: identify key principles across a range of literatures, deciding how to summarise and clearly present relevant literatures, justify their decisions, and to make links between theory and practice, allowing them to evaluate theory. Presentations will require them to demonstrate an ability to present an argument verbally and provide evidence to evaluate their argument. An individual essay will ensure that an assessment of the student’s ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Research skills The verbal presentations and group and individual work all require research skills. Students will need to be able to identify academic literatures that can allow them to develop their arguments, and thus demonstrate an ability to locate appropriate research resources. The submission of the essay will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills.
Subject Specific Skills Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of subject specific skills that will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and research publications presented on the module. These subject specific skills include: * Demonstration of a familiarity with the techniques required for literature searches. * Appreciation of the nature of ethical research in the social sciences. * Demonstration of application of psychological theory to real world contexts. * Appreciation of the political and social nature of knowledge, including that produced in the social sciences. * Demonstrate an understanding of some of the core principles of the study of gender in the media, including assessing the key issues and debates.
Team work The module employs a problem-based learning activity that requires teamwork. Students will be introduced to the concept of group dynamics and techniques for working together. Students are expected to share roles (e.g., of scribe, chair, presenter etc.) during the lecture and seminar times, which will often take the form of group meetings, facilitated by the lecturer. They will therefore play an active part in group activities. The problem-based learning activities require classroom debates and discussions, making this a vital component of the module.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5