Television and digital cultures | DIM 104

Instructor: Vassilis Vamvakas

Course Description

This course concentrates on the various ways television has culturally influenced the modern societies but also the role it plays in the era of media convergence.  The main issue that will be examined is the gradual change of television from a medium characterizing mass communication to that which inaugurates the culture of individualization. A historical approach to the entertaining TV genres and the particular narratives and types of identification offered by them will be applied.  Issues of adapting globalized (and mainly American) TV symbolic products to certain political, social and cultural expectations and stereotypes will be questioned.  Reception studies concerning TV audiences will be examined and applied to certain contemporary TV products (mostly series), especially these that are considered to construct a “quality” TV culture the last decades. The diffusion of these products through the world of internet and the increasing formation of TV fandom in digital terms will be a subject of great research interest.


Course Objectives

  • Understanding the importance of television in western culture
  • Realizing the multiple and complex impact of American entertaining TV in Europe, especially in countries with dominated by the political attitude of anti-imperialism.
  • Understanding the era of convergence culture and the interesting mixtures between old and new media in symbolic and institutional terms.
  • Explore the television and digital fandom


Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze the different types of television programming and its various entertaining genres.
  2. Define the ways television responds to mass or special and individualized audiences
  3. Investigate the ways that television intermingles with the world of internet
  4. Explore the social and cultural consequences of TV fandom and digital cultures


Class/Learning activities

Lectures, group work, in-class presentations, literature study, written assignments.



Type of work Description Hours
Lectures Thirteen 3-hours lectures 39
Independent study Study of compulsory and optional literature 40-45
In Class presentation Presentation of main contemporary researches in the field 20-25
Research Search and analyze media discourses concerning public and private issues 35-40
Written assignments Essay (5000 words) 120-140
Total workload 254-289



Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment
Participation in group work and discussion 1-2 20% Regularly
In Class presentation 1-2 30% 8th-12th week
Written assignment (essay) 1-4 50% 12th week


Required Reading

Allen, R. Hill, A. (eds.), The television studies reader, London: Routledge.

Andrejevic, M. Reality TV. The work of being watched, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2004

Cavender, G., Fishman, M. (ed.), Entertaining Crime: Television Reality Programs, New York: Aldine De Gruyter, 1998

Costello, V., Moore, B. “Cultural Outlaws: An Examination of Audience Activity and online television fandom”, Television New Media 2007 8: 124

Couldry, Ν., Media rituals: a critical approach, New York:  Routledge, 2003.

Dalton, M. Linder, L., The sitcom reader. America viewed and skewed , State University of New York, 2005

Elsaesser T., Simons, J., Bronk, L. (eds), Writing for The medium. Television in Transition, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 1994

Fiske, J., Television Culture, Routledge, London, 1987

Friedman, J.(ed.) Reality squared, televisual discourse on the real, New Jersey and London: Rutgers University Press, 2002.

Hartley J., Popular reality. Journalism, modernity, popular culture, Λονδίνο, 1996.

Jean K. Chalaby (ed), Transnational Television Worldwide:Towards a New Media Order, Tauris, NY, 2005

Jenkins H., Textual Poachers Television Fans & Participatory Culture, Routledge, London-NY, 1992

Jenkins, H. Convergence Culture, New York University Press, 2006

Jenkins, H. Fans, bloggers and gamers. Exploring participatory culture, New York: New York University Press, 2006.

Kellner, D., Media Spectacle, New York: Routledge, 2003

Kuipers G., “Countries Transnational Television and National Media Landscapes in Four European Cultural Globalization as the Emergence of a Transnational Cultural Field”, American Behavioral Scientist  55: 541, 2011

Livingstone, S., “Why People Watch Soap Opera: An Analysis of the Explanations of British Viewers”, European Journal of Communication 1988 3: 55

McCabe, J. Akass, K., Quality TV. Contemporary American Television and Beyond, Tauris, NY, 2007,

Morley D., Brunsdon C., The Nationwide Television Studies, London-NY, Routledge, 1999

Ouellette, L.  (eds.) Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture. New York and London: New York University Press

Papacharissi, Z. (ed.) A networked self identity, community and culture on social network sites, New York and London: Routledge, 2011

Shimpach, S. Television in Transition. The Life and Afterlife of the Narrative Action Hero, Blackwell 2010

Tulloch, J., Jenkins,H., Science fiction audiences, Watching Doctor Who and Star Trek, Routledge, London 1995

Tulloch, J., Watching Television Audiences, Cultural theories and methods, Arnold, London 2000

Williams R., Television, Routledge, London-ΝΥ, 1974

Wolton, D., Penser la communication (In greek), Athènes: Savalas, 2005

Print Friendly, PDF & Email