HFMA03073U Modul 4, Multiculturalism, Diversity and Social Media

Volume 2014/2015
Master in Film and Media Studies

This course provides students with insights into key theories about audience effects and usage in relation to various media, as well as an understanding of research methodologies relevant to the study of the relations between media and audiences. The course will address how questions related to media audiences and users can be investigated empirically and targets epistemological challenges raised when conducting empirical research on media users and audiences, and will present key theoretical perspectives and research traditions into media audiences and users. Two different research seminars will be offered, and students will select which seminar to follow, according to their research interests and preferences. In relation to the research seminars students will plan and conduct an empirical study from a media audience or user perspective. Both seminars will include a focus on both qualitative and quantitative research methods, and students are free to select which methodological approach to follow for their empirical study. Interested students will furthermore be offered workshops on TV rating analysis and web traffic analysis. Students pursuing an internship may opt to use materials from the internship when conducting their empirical study.

Research seminar: Multiculturalism, Diversity and Social Media

The claim of the “death of multiculturalism” by European politicians have been discussed in the media and the public sphere for the last decade. European politicians claimed that migrants in Europe live parallel lives and this threatens social cohesion and integrity. Such a discourse has created theoretical and methodological concerns about how we can conceptualise, understand  and represent diversity. Furthermore, such debates raised again the questions of “How do people coming from different ethnic, class and religious backgrounds live together in today’s rapidly shifting world? How do migrants negotiate their individual, collective and transnational identities?” Furthermore, the use of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter have been used for political mobilization (e.g. in the Arab Spring movements in the Middle East, the protests concerning the economic and political crisis in Europe, LGBT movements) giving voice to unheard perspectives as well as to create new social ties and to keep in touch with friends, family living abroad.

We will investigate the relationship between diversity and social media. The focus of the course is twofold: 1) to explore the discourses of multiculturalism, diversity and migration in the media and the public sphere. What are the discourses surrounding migrants? How are migrants perceived and represented? What is the rhetoric behind a country or city being multicultural (e.g. How is Copenhagen represented to be multicultural?).Theoretically, the seminar will introduce the ways in which multiculturalism and diversity have been conceptualized. 2) To explore the ways in which social media is used by various audiences. What is the role of social media in giving voice to diverse views? How do people respond/react to news and discourses in the mainstream media through the use of social media?

The seminar will furthermore explore how such epistemological and theoretical perspectives are interlinked with methodological considerations regarding operationalizations of social media and quantitative and qualitative research designs for empirical studies of diversity. Throughout the seminar, we will explore how diverging theoretical understandings and methodological approaches have implications for the conclusions and results that can be produced within audience and user studies. Students will prepare, undertake, and present a small-scale empirical study on the use and analysis of social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) from an audience or user perspective in order to understand issues concerning diversity.

Learning Outcome
Master in Film and Media Studies 2013-curriculum:
Modul 4: Audience and user studies: HFMK03071E

Curriculum for Master's Programme in Media Studies, The 2008 Curriculum:
Modul 2: Audience and user studies: HMEK03121E
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Course Preparation
  • 367,5
  • Total
  • 409,5
Type of assessment
Oral exam, optional subject, with material.

For details, see the curriculum.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Criteria for exam assesment