New Media: Theories and Perspectives | DIM 101

Instructor: Dimitra Dimitrakopoulou
Course Description

The course examines critically the key theoretical approaches to understand and analyze the role of new and interactive media in the contemporary society. It introduces students to the core theoretical ideas and concepts that can be applied as analytical tools for understanding, explaining and critically discussing the development, uses, practices and interactions of media technologies and cultures. The course follows a historical perspective that places new media theory within a broader understanding of technology and its relationship to culture and social change.


Course Objectives

  • Understanding of the central concepts of new media technologies.
  • Critically assessment and synthesis of new media theories and approaches.
  • Application of theories on the critical understanding and analysis of contemporary social issues and changes and every-day problems.
  • Ability to contribute to debates regarding major trends that drive social change, e.g. media ownership, economics, intellectual property, regulation, privacy, identity, sociality, equity.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Approach critically the central new media theories and apply them to address and explain contemporary changes in society, politics, economy.
  2. Describe the relations and interactions between society and technology.
  3. Compare the different new media theories and understand their similarities and differences.


Class/Learning activities

Lectures, workshops, group work/role plays, in-class presentations, literature study, written assignments.



Type of work Description Hours
Lectures Thirteen 3-hours lectures 39
Group work/role plays Organization and coordination of group work/role plays 20-25
Independent study Study of compulsory and optional literature 40-45
Research Online research 35-40
Written assignments-Presentations Written assignments

  1. 3 short briefs/commentaries (200-300 words)
  2. essay (4.000-5.000 words)
  3. in-class presetations
Total workload 254-289



Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment
Participation in group work/discussion/role plays 1-2 20% Regularly
Presentation of written assignment 1-3 20% 8th-12th week
Short briefs 2-3 20% 5th-8th week
Written assignment (essay) 1-4 40% 14th week


Required Reading

Barney, D. (2004). The Network Society. Cambridge: Polity Press.

boyd, d, and Ellison, N., 2007, Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. In Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html

Castells, M. (2000). The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford: Blackwell.

Castells, M. (2001). Internet Galaxy. Oxford: OUP.

Castells, M. (2004). The Network Society: A Cross Cultural Perspective. London: Edward Elgar.

Chadwick, A. (2006). Internet Politics: States, Citizens, and New Communication Technologies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Coleman, S. (1999). “The new media and democratic politics”. In New Media and Society 1(1), 67-74.

Siapera, E. (2012). Understanding New Media. London: Sage.

Webster, F. (2006). Theories of the Information Society

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