New Media: Theories and Perspectives

Gregory Paschalidis

DIM 101 New Media: Theories and Perspectives


About This Course

Course Description

The course introduces students to certain key theoretical concepts, approaches and debates concerning the understanding and critical analysis of the role of new media in contemporary society. It combines an analytical perspective, that sheds light on some crucial aspects, functions and uses of new media, with a historical perspective, that places new media within a broader understanding of technology and its relationship to culture and social change. The course explores some major research areas in a way that prioritizes interdisciplinarity, grounded on on-going research rather than abstract theorizing, innovative and critical thinking about current issues and challenges, as well as the value of combining quantitative and qualitative perspectives.

Course Objectives

  • Understanding of the central concepts, approaches and debates concerning new media
  • Critical assessment of new media theories and research approaches
  • Effective use of new media theories and research approaches in the understanding and analysis of contemporary social issues, problems and changes
  • Ability to contribute to debates regarding major dimensions and problems of new media, e.g. hybridity, communication, interactivity, participation, connectivity, privacy, memory, access, politics etc.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Define core concepts and approaches in the study of new media
  2. Compare and contrast the different new media theories and research approaches
  3. Effectively apply them in the analysis of specific contemporary issues and phenomena
  4. Becoming aware of the complex interrelationship and interaction between technology, society and culture

Class/Learning activities

Lectures, in-class presentations and debates, independent study, individual essays.


Type of work Description Hours
Lectures thirteen 3-hours lectures 39
Independent study Study of class materials and readings 50-60
Readings in-class presentation Presenting & leading a discussion on a given topic 25-30
Essay outline in-class presentation Conference type presentation of essay outline 25-30
Research essay 5.000 words written assignment 100-110
Total workload 239-269


Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment
Participation in in-class discussions 1-4 10% On a regular basis
In-class presentation of course readings 1-3 10% Weeks 2 – 12
In-class presentation of essay outline 2-4 10% Week 13
Research essay 2-4 70% Week 15

Required Reading

  • Holmes, D. (2005). Communication Theory: Media, Technology and Society. London: Sage
  • Lister, M., J. Dovey, S. Giddings, I. Grant & K. Kelly (2009). New Media. A Critical Introduction.  London/N. York: Routledge (2nd ed.).
  • Jenkins, H., M. Ito & D. Boyd (2016). Participatory Culture in a Networked Era. Cambridge: Polity.

Suggested Reading

  • Castells, M. 2009. Communication Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Chadwick, A 2013. The Hybrid Media System. Politics and Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Christakis, N. & J. Fowler (2009). Connected. The Surprising Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. New York: Little, Brown & Co
  • Manovich, L. (2013). Software Takes Command. London: Bloomsbury
  • Van Dijk, J. (2013). The Culture of Connectivity. A Critical History of Social Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press.