Everyday the media, especially in the West, is full of issues to do with risk and insecurity: * global warming and flooding; * SARS and chicken flu; * HIV/AIDS and malaria crises; * drowning and asphyxiation of illegal immigrants; * environmental and social catastrophes associated with nuclear energy and hydroelectric developments; * ‘new wars’ and terrorism; * international and national state breaking of Geneva conventions; * food scares associated with genetically modified crops; * shortage of water and food; * natural disasters like the late 2004 tsunami. Everywhere, too, governments, state agencies responsible for managing risk and the commercial sector are placing risk and security at the top of their corporate agendas. People skilled in understanding how media evaluate and communicate risk and security issues are eagerly be looked for internationally. This need goes well beyond people with skills in new technological means of surveillance and risk prevention. Increasingly governments, international agencies, NGOs, military organisations, major companies and the media themselves are looking for experts able to evaluate, communicate and manage risk and security. This is, to our knowledge, the first Master's course anywhere in the world that covers a wide range of social scientific approaches to risk, security and the media. It is taught by leading international experts in the field, and will provide intensive face-to-face teaching to produce graduates ready for employment in the wide range of risk communication jobs beginning to appear.
Everyday the media, especially in the West, is full of issues to do with risk and insecurity: global warming and flooding; HIV/AIDS and malaria; 'new wars' and terrorism. Increasingly governments, international agencies, NGOs, military organisations and the media themselves are looking for experts able to evaluate and manage risk and security.
This is, to our knowledge, the first Master’s course in the world that covers a wide range of social scientific approaches to risk, security and the media. It is taught by leading international experts, and will provide intensive face-to-face teaching to produce graduates ready for employment in the wide range of risk communication jobs beginning to appear.
The course will have a focused module specifically devoted to issues of risk, insecurity and media. It will proceed by way of case studies of risk associated with everything from daily events like travel safety to the big picture matters of terrorism and international ‘new’ wars, such as that in Iraq. Students will also be able (and expected) to focus on risk and (in)security issues within their own cultures, giving them the opportunity to conduct original research. We are looking for postgraduate students who have a lively mind as well as clear interest in jobs associated with risk communication in any area of the state and commercial sectors. A very wide range of risk and security theory will be covered in this course, dealing with a range of disciplines like sociology, cultural studies, media studies, communication studies and psychology, and we welcome applications from people with a strong intellectual background in one or more of these areas and/or a strong academic or professional background in journalism. Students will also be encouraged to take parallel units in Globalisation and the New Media and Health, Risk and the Media. The main part of the course will be taught by Professor John Tulloch, who has an international reputation in the area of risk and the media, and has published books on Television, AIDS and Risk and Risk and Everyday Life.
Typical Modules (all core)
* Theories of Risk, Insecurity and the Media
Main topics of study: a range of case studies generated by recent and current risk and insecurity theory, with a particular reference to media: including the safety of car airbags in the USA; the environmental, health and economic risk of railway development in Sweden; fear of crime in Australia; food scares like BSE and GM in the UK; 'new wars' in Kosovo and Iraq; the issues of terrorism and insurgency in Palestine and Israel; the 7/7 attacks in London.
* Qualitative Methods in Social and Cultural Research
Main topics of study: developing research questions; research philosophies (positivism, phenomenology, reflexivity, feminist research); ethnography; interviews; focus groups; surveys and sampling; quantitative and qualitative data analysis; politics and ethics of research.
* Culture, Space and Power
Main topics of study: theories and key concepts for understanding communicative and cultural transformations in relation to power, flows, mobilities, networks, power and globalization; theorising different approaches to globalization within specific case studies; media globalization and the formation and movement of cultural identities; developments in global capitalism and the circulation of cultural differences; the transformation of city spaces; the analysis of the mobility of people, goods, ideas and concepts and its impact on daily life; the development of a 'mobile sociology'.
* The Information Society
Main topics of study: the relationships between current transformations in the areas of new media communications and global governance; the interplay between new media, the public sphere, and processes of globalisation; the work of key information society and communications theorists such as Castells; the work of contemporary cultural and social theorists of global capitalism such as Hardt and Negri, Beck, Jessop and Urry:
This Master's programme will be conducted within the context of the Sociology and Communications subject group. This group was rated 5 '(excellent') at the British 2001 Research Assessment Exercise. The main academic involved in teaching the course, Professor Tulloch, is currently conducting internationally funded research in two areas of risk and security. He has an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant to examine Risk, Media and Identity in post-War Kosovo, and an Australian Rural Industries Development Grant to research issues of biosecurity, quarantine laws and world trade restrictions. In both cases the main focus is on risk communication within a broader political, social, economic and historical framework.
This will be by way of essay, dissertation and group presentation.
By way of lectures, presentations and workshops.
The course is aimed at a wide range of careers where research and methods in the social sciences and humanities are applied to understanding the relationship between media, professional risk managers and publics. In particular it will provide the latest models and paradigms in the flow of communication between 'experts', 'communicators' and 'audiences'.