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LPS-MC202 Behind the Screen: Understanding Global Media Industries

Dr Bingchun Meng, Associate Professor, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science

Course outline

This course presents an overview of the changing mechanisms of media production, distribution and consumption in the age of globalziation. We will examine how media industries work, why they work as they do, and their broader social and cultural implications.

Questions to be explored include “How modes of media production have changed in different contexts and periods?” “What are the key issues facing media industries?” “What role do advertising and market research play in the life and design of media products?” “How do technological and legislative developments influence the way that the products of media industries are produced, distributed and consumed?”

In order to address these questions, we will utilize key concepts such as convergence, commodification, flexible accumulation, and creative labour. We draw upon theoretical insights offered by political economy, cultural studies, sociology and urban studies to analyze cases of media industries across the globe. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the industrial dynamics of media production as well as their own engagement with cultural industries.

Full course outline

About the Instructor


Dr Bingchun Meng is an Associate Professor in the department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has a BA in Chinese Language and Literature (1997) and an MA in Comparative Literature (2000) from Nanjing University, China, and obtained her PhD in Mass Communication (2006) from the Pennsylvania State University, USA. Before joining LSE, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, where she also taught classes on Chinese media.

Her major research interests include the political economy of Chinese media and information industries in a globalising era; the implications of copyright regulation on communication networks and creative activities; and contextualised analysis of new media and communication technology in the comples of political, economic and cultural developments.