Media, Culture and Society

Verbredende 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, knowledge 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 course introduces students to the major theoretical approaches in the study of mass mediated communication, drawing on research examples that cover various media (e.g. radio, television, film, newspapers, magazines, and the internet) and different countries. The course provides a historical and critical overview of theory and research on processes of media production, media contents, and media reception. The impact media have on culture and society is explored as well as debates that circulate about the media and media influences.
    Course activities include in-depth discussion of key issues and questions, in-class assignments, presentations and discussion of student assignments and coursework.
  • Teaching method: Lectures, tutorials.
  • Teaching materials: Croteau, D. & Hoynes, W. (2019). Media/Society. Technology, Industries, Content, and Users (6th edition). London: Sage. (ISBN: 9781506390789)
  • 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: The introduction and role of new communication technologies in society can never be told in just one story. In a process of mutual shaping, society and technology influence each other, with various outcomes, opportunities and impacts for different groups of people in various contexts. In this introductory course, we will look at the interplay between communication technologies and society. The course is both historical and thematic in nature and offers a critical exploration of (a selection of) cultural, social, political and economic impacts of communication technologies, including the printing press, film, television and digital media on our society. Special attention will be paid to the internet and its relationship to the ways individuals, groups and organizations communicate.

    Teaching methods in this course involve a combination of digital learning resources (videos, animations and literature) and interactive tutorial assignments.

  • Teaching method: Lectures, tutorials.
  • Teaching materials: Articles to 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: We will study the impact of culture on communication processes in various domains such as time, space, verbal and non verbal communication. We will also analyze major research frameworks and methods as they are applied to the field of cultural differences in communication. Through discussion of intercultural issues and through analysis of numerous real-life cases with the help of visual materials (photographs, videos) and texts, we will improve our own cross-cultural understanding and our intercultural communication  skills.
  • Teaching method: Lectures.
  • Teaching materials: Readings via Canvas and online resources.
  • 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 (20%)
Group Presentation (15%)
Final Exam (65%)

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

CM9004 - Communication Technology and its Impacts
Individual Assignments (30%)
Group project (30%)

Exam (40%)

Feedback will primarily be provided in a digital format.


Contact information

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

Faculty website

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


Please read the application procedure for more information.

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