Aim To produce a 2,500-word analytical essay based on ONE of the questions below which engages in a sustained manner with an appropriate media text of your own choosing

the theoretical approach is: 
i. Marxism

ii. Psychoanalysis

iii. Feminism

iv. Language and Identity

v. The Foucauldian Subject

This essay assesses the following learning outcomes:

Identify a self-selected theoretical approach to the investigation of a substantive and self-identified analytical case study.
Apply a self-selected theoretical approach to a substantive and self-identified analytical case study.
You should select one of the essay questions below and address it in relation to a relevant media text/s of your choice:

How convincing is the argument that contemporary media are the primary source of self-identity in contemporary society? Consider the question in relation to a media text/s of your choice.
“National cultures are not simple repositories of shared symbols to which the entire population stands in identical relation. Rather, they are to be approached as sites of contestation in which competition over definitions takes place.” (Schlesinger in Boyle and Haynes, 2000, p.153)
Drawing upon coverage of any international sporting event, except London 2012 Olympics, explore the extent to which your chosen event reveals the contested nature of symbols of national identity.

3. To what extent does postfeminist media culture offer ‘constructions of gender relations which are profoundly contradictory’ (Gill, 2012, p. 146). Consider the question in relation to the analysis of a media text/s of your choice.

4. What can a consideration of the role of music in everyday life tell us about the impact of mediation on your own articulations of personal and social identities. You should base you answer on a music use diary of at least one week’s listening.

5. How important is Butler’s (1991) notion of gender trouble for explaining the contestation of gender norms in popular media? You should relate your answer to a relevant media text of your own choosing.

6. Skeggs (2004) argues that media representations of working class people almost invariably attribute negative value to working class identities. Explore this contention in relation to a detailed analysis of an appropriate media text of your own choosing.

7. To what extent does Giddens’ (1991) characterisation of the late modern self as inherently reflexive help us explain the articulation of identities in contemporary reality television? Discuss in relation to a reality television text of your choice.


Your essay should be informed by sustained engagement with a theoretical approach appropriate to the study of identity and your self-selected case study of a media or cultural text
Make the best possible use of your reading and case study material throughout your essay – do not separate your theoretical discussion from your discussion of the media text.
Don’t just outline positions. Draw on your reading and your case study material to critically build your argument.

Marking Criteria

You work will be marked against the following criteria:

Quality of critical engagement with academic literature
Quality of critical engagement with case study material
Quality of integration of theoretical discussion with case study material
Quality of referencing (to Harvard-APA standard)
Quality of organisation and expression

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