Minor Media, Culture and Society

Broadening minor
10 weken


Media and communication technologies are a central force in our global society, affecting every aspect of life and culture. For students in any discipline, an understanding of current developments in the field of media and communication is key to understanding contemporary society. This minor introduces students to the scientific study of media and communication, focusing on three major areas of study. First, students will be familiarized with the major perspectives, key concepts, and developments in the study of the production, content and reception of media and their impact on culture and society. Secondly, they will focus on the interplay between new communication technologies and society, reflecting on the societal dimensions of new media and communication technologies. Thirdly, students will expore how culture may impact communication processes and they will improve their cross-cultural understanding by examining intercultural issues through real life cases using a variety of media materials.

Learning objectives

After completing the minor, students should have a wide-ranging knowledge and critical understanding of the major themes and approaches in the literature on media processes and influences, the interplay between new communication technologies and society, and the cultural dimensions of media and communication. They should be able to use their knowledge to reflect and to formulate their own viewpoints and research questions.

Special aspects

Proficiency in spoken and written English is essential. We advise a VWO-final examination grade of 7 or higher, a TOEFL-test minimum score of 100 or an IELTS-test minimum score of 7.
Please note that our courses have mandatory attendance.

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Overview modules

Module 1: Media and Communication Theory

  • Code: CM0004
  • ECTS: 5
  • Content: This module provides an overview of the key concepts and themes in the study of mass media and their relation with culture and society. It will do so by making a distinction between the production, the contents and the reception, uses and impact of various types of mass media. We will examine the production-contents-reception triad from a sociological perspective. We will not only consider media types in terms of the role they play in our individual lives, but we will also think about the relationship between the mass media and social, political, economic, and technological forces and processes.
  • Teaching method: Lectures, seminars.
  • Teaching materials: Croteau, David & Hoynes, William & Stefania Milan Media, Society: Industries, Images and Audiences Fourth Edition (Londen, 2011, Sage / Pine Forge (ISBN: 9781412974202 pbk). Additional literature will be listed in the Course Guide and can be found online.
  • Contact hours: 4 hours per week.
  • Self study: 8-12 hours per week.

Module 2: Communication Technology and its Impacts

  • Code: CM9004
  • ECTS: 5
  • Content: This course offers a critical look at a number cultural, social, political and economic impacts of new communication technologies, including the press, film, television and cyberspace. Special attention will be paid to the internet and its relationship to the ways individuals, groups and organizations communicate within society. Students will be trained to critically reflect on fundamental and practical issues related to societal aspects of new media and communication technologies, and to formulate their own viewpoints and research questions, using relevant theoretical insights, concepts and research findings. Teaching methods involve a combination of lectures and tutorials.
  • Teaching method: Lectures, tutorials.
  • Teaching materials: Baym, Nancy K. (2015). Personal connections in the Digital Age, London: Polity Press. Additional literature will be listed in the Course Guide and can be found online.
  • Contact hours: 4 hours per week.
  • Self study: 8-12 hours per week.

Module 3: Cultural Influences on Communication

  • Code: CM9003
  • ECTS: 5
  • Content: In this course we will examine the influence of culture on communication. First, we will explore the different approaches to the study of communication and culture and intercultural communication. Next, we will focus on the relationship between culture, communication, context, and power, and we will consider the influence of history on communication between people from different cultural backgrounds. The course will then focus on communication and cultural identity, verbal and non-verbal aspects of intercultural communication, and specific contexts of intercultural communication (e.g., migration, popular media, and conflict situations). In the seminars, students will conduct in-depth case studies of intercultural communication.
  • Teaching method: Lectures.
  • Teaching materials: Articles to be listed in the Course Guide and can be found online.
  • Contact hours: 2 hours per week.
  • Self study: 8-12 hours per week.

Overview content

Below please find an overview of the topics covered in the modules of this minor.

Media and Communication Theory

  • Economics & Politics of Media Industries
  • Media organisations and professionals
  • Ideology and the mass media
  • Media influences and effects
  • Active media audiences
  • Media technologies
  • Cultural globalisation

Communication Technology and its Impacts

  • New Media and Communication Technologies
  • Making Sense of the Impact of Communication Technologies
  • Media Convergence
  • Media Fragmentation and Selective Exposure
  • Communication Technologies and Democracy
  • Online Communities and Online Identities
  • Personalized Communication and Privacy
  • Artificial Intelligence

Cultural Influences on Communication

  • Languages and Symbols
  • Politics and Rules
  • War and Peace
  • Education and Knowledge
  • Traditions
  • The Muses
  • Love and Happiness


Method of examination
In each module the method of examination is a written examination at the end of the term. In Cultural Influences on Communication there is also a midterm exam. Throughout the term students are required to hand in assignments and/or do presentations.

Composition final grade
CM0004 - Media & Communication Theory
Individual Assignments (30%)
Group Presentation (10%)
Final Exam (60%)

CM9003 - Cultural Influences on Communication
Mid-term exam (30%)
Final exam (70%)

CM9004 - Communication Technology and its Impacts
Individual Assignments (15%)
Group project (15%)

Final essay (20%)
Exam (50%)

Feedback will primarily be provided in a digital format.

Contact information

Indira Gerards
(010) 408 9179
room: M8-34

Faculty website

Broadening minor
10 weken
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication
Studiepunten (EC)
Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam


Please read the application procedure for more information.