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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2019/2020

Media and Social Institutions: Cross-Cultural Comparison of World’s Media

Type: Elective course (International Relations)
Area of studies: International Relations
Delivered by: School of Media
When: 3 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus


This course is oriented toward understanding of the media distinctions between the societies and develops the ability to analyze political, economic and cultural sources of media systems development. This course is recommended mainly for the undergraduate students from the social sciences disciplines but at the same time could be useful for foreign students interested in the subject area. Main prerequisites for this course are the intermediate level of English (ability to speak, to read the texts as well as to write some essays) and main knowledge in history (especially history of the XX century), sociology, economics.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding of the contemporary industrial media landscape in main developed countries
  • Understanding economic, political, cultural fundamentals of media systems in different geographical area
  • Develop ability to analyze media systems using multi-layered approach.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Describes the role of symbolic institutions within the society
  • Defining main differences between media systems according to the markets they are focused on.
  • Distinguishing media systems corresponding to particular political regimes
  • Describe core concepts of cultural interaction and role media in it.
  • Able to apply key dimensions of media systems to analysis of European media system
  • Able to apply key dimensions of media systems to analysis of American media system
  • Able to apply key dimensions of media systems to analysis of post-soviet media system
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Methodological basics for comparing media landscapes: general approach
    Main methodological assumptions about comparison of media systems in different countries. We will do a brief introduction into the general problems of development of media in democracies and will examine the connections between media and such fields as: political regime, economic policy and development, urbanism and culture. General framework will be the analysis of 4 forms of power and role of symbolic institutions among them.
  • Economic approach to compare media systems
    The role of media in economic exchange and development of mass communication. Linear and non-linear vision of the economic market and media development. Their connections.
  • Political differences and media
    Main visions of power: Foucauldian, Durkheimian and Weberian and main visions of media corresponding to them. Role media in each of the system. Normative theories and critical theories.
  • Cultural and geographical dimension of comparing media systems
    Identity as core concept of cultural differences. Theories of interactions of cultures. Difference between geographical and cultural identities and political solutions between them. Cultural differences in media reception
  • European media system
    A brief description of the main European media markets such as GB, France, Germany, Italy and some Scandinavian markets. We will trace especially peculiarity of the creation of the media sector after the WWII and how media industries has been affected by such reconfiguration. Especially we will do a description of the main public media in Europe and trace the history of this field. Than we will briefly do a review of the European Union policy in the media field such as role of EBU and some other authorities.
  • American media system
    American media field which is in difference from Europe is much more based on commercial driven forces such as big commercial companies, advertising market etc. US media during last 50 years was faced few times some deontological crises such as policy of the senator McCarthy, pressure on media from Nixon and G.W. Bush administrations etc.
  • Some assumptions about post-soviet media system
    In this sections will do a critical introduction into Russian media system. Together with students we will try to focus on the different elements of the Russian media systems and their origins. We will find a mix between main models in field of media capital, political parallelism etc. and consequently will be able to compare Russia with other BRICs countries in this field.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Seminar activities: written group discussions and individual tasks, short oral presentations
  • non-blocking Home work
  • non-blocking Written essay
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.3 * Home work + 0.2 * Seminar activities: written group discussions and individual tasks, short oral presentations + 0.5 * Written essay


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Cottle, S., & Matthews, J. (2013). U.S. TV News and Communicative Architecture: Between Manufacturing Consent and Mediating Democracy. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 57(4), 562–578. https://doi.org/10.1080/08838151.2013.845831
  • Dayan, D., & Katz, E. (1992). Media Events. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=282693
  • Disrupting the Old Periphery: Alternative Media, Inequality and Counter-Mapping in Brazil. (2018). https://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.287
  • Hallin, D. C. (2019). Mediatisation, neoliberalism and populisms: the case of Trump. Contemporary Social Science, 14(1), 14–25. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2018.1426404
  • Hallin, D. C., & Mancini, P. (2017). Ten Years After Comparing Media Systems: What Have We Learned? Political Communication, 34(2), 155–171. https://doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2016.1233158
  • Katz, E., Dayan, D., & Motyl, P. (1981). Communications in the 21st Century: In Defense of Media Events. Organizational Dynamics, 10(2), 68–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/0090-2616(81)90033-4
  • Mancini, P., & Hallin, D. C. (2012). Comparing Media Systems Beyond the Western World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=415671
  • Mar’Ianovskii, V. (1997). The Russian economic mentality. Russian Social Science Review, 38(4), 34. https://doi.org/10.2753/RSS1061-1428380434
  • McChesney, R. W., & Recorded Books, I. (2015). Rich Media, Poor Democracy : Communication Politics in Dubious Times. New York: The New Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1015632

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Jonathan A. Obar, & Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch. (2018). The Clickwrap: A Political Economic Mechanism for Manufacturing Consent on Social Media. Social Media + Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305118784770
  • Shriver, T. E., Adams, A. E., & Bray, L. A. (2019). Political Power and Manufacturing Consent: The Case of the 1953 Plzeň Protests. Sociological Quarterly, 60(1), 26–45. https://doi.org/10.1080/00380253.2018.1526046
  • Toepfl, F. (2013). Why do pluralistic media systems emerge? Comparing media change in the Czech Republic and in Russia after the collapse of Communism. LSE Research Online Documents on Economics. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.p.ehl.lserod.53148