This unit explores key issues relating to networked media technologies and how they shape identity and personal experiences. In particular, the unit looks at how the self is increasingly performed, through a range of media platforms, in ways that blur the boundaries between public and private.
You should be able to:
1. Evaluate cultural practices and relationships to contemporary networked media technologies
2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of key media concepts in networked cultural contexts
3. Evaluate cultural practices in relation to networked cultures and technologies, formulate critical argument and present findings
4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role played by networked identities in contemporary life
Word length: 2,000
Due Date: Friday 30 October 2015
Please respond to ONE of the following essay topics.
You must choose a different topic from your presentation. Further submission and assessment guidelines
will be discussed during lectures and are detailed on page 2 of this document.
1. What is ‘microcelebrity’? Respond to this question with reference to its history and by discussing its
impact on contemporary culture.
2. ‘Selfies’ are a narcissistic media form with few benefits for society. Discuss.
3. Outline the theory of ‘immaterial labour’ as it applies to social media. Your answer should include
specific examples and identify the key debates.
4. How are user generated content and other types of collaborative consumption changing current
business models? Your answer should include specific examples and explain the key debates.
5. Does copyright law encourage or stifle creativity? Analyse the different points of this debate with
reference to creative practices such as music, film, gaming or writing and the sometimes problematic
relationships between creators and audiences.
6. What role do celebrities play in social change? Your answer must include specific examples and refer to
the key debates.
7. To what extent can media be used to develop significant relationships across geographical distance?
8. What are the opportunities and challenges of online education?
9. What is the role of anonymity online? Your response should identify the key debates and evaluate the
strengths and weaknesses of the arguments.
10. How is social media shaping the aims and practices of contemporary feminism? You could respond to
this question in relation to the critical literature about trolling or by considering the communication
methods used by feminists.
Please write your proposal indicating your media background.