This module constitutes an introductory survey of academic knowledge and critical issues concerning the links between representation, diversity and identity in various sociocultural texts, histories, contexts and sites. It pays attention to the ideas of ‘representation’, ‘difference’, ‘discourse’, ‘normativity’, ‘performativity’ and ‘hybridity’, and emphasises the importance of understanding various forms of inequality, stigmatisation and marginalisation in both modern histories of communication and contemporary media and culture. The module introduces students to key ideas, theories and analytical frameworks drawn from cultural and critical studies, media studies, feminist and queer theories, and postcolonial studies. The module also interrogates the diverse ways in which media and cultural representations produce or are produced by power institutions along the lines of gender, sexuality, race and class in modern and contemporary societies. Students will gain insight into complex, intersected power relations and identity politics, such as the construction of gender and sexual normativities, the imaginary of nation-state, and the naturalisation of racial and class-based stereotypes, that are rooted in mainstream societies and crucial in the understanding of local and global sociocultural diversities.
A Demonstrate a basic knowledge of various sets of theories of representation and identity
B Identify the power relations and hierarchies produced and reinforced in the processes of representation
C Examine the interplay between representation, identity, power and subjectivity
D Apply concepts and theories to the analysis of issues in media, culture and society
E Analyse diverse forms of identity, power and knowledge production in modern histories and contemporary media