understanding media

Good Morning!

Welcome to U75102 'Understanding Media', an undergraduate module that was taught by Tom Tyler at Oxford Brookes University UK between 2004-05 and 2008-09. Students at Brookes who signed up for this module may initially have found the Module Overview or the weekly pages the most useful. Everyone is welcome to browse round the site, of course: you may find the pages on Marshall McLuhan, The Matrix or Videodrome the most interesting.

The mass media have a profound effect on all of us living in today's tuned-in, turned-on, globally-connected, advertising-saturated societies. Any understanding of contemporary culture, and those who take part in it, must examine the huge impact that these technological innovations have had. But what are 'the media'? And how, precisely, do they affect us?

The purpose of this module is to begin to consider what constitutes 'a medium' (singular), and to explore the ways in which 'the media' (plural) are used for communication, consumption and control. During the course of the module we will examine a host of different media: television, film, the internet, DVD and video, photography, CD and radio, telephones, books and newspapers, magazines and comics, computer games, and many more. We will immerse ourselves in a diverse range of cultural products and characters: The Matrix, Derren Brown, Sex and the City, The Times newspaper, Andy Warhol, Videodrome, Marks & Spencer underpants, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Benetton, Star Wars, Henry V, Heat magazine, Futurama, and others. As we do so, we will employ a series of theories, concepts and ideas that will help us to understand the media.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed within these pages are personal and should not be construed as reflecting the views and opinions of Oxford Brookes University.