MC401      Half Unit
Mediated Resistance and Citizens

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Bart Cammaerts STC. S213


This course is available on the MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Data and Society), MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance), MSc in Media and Communications (Research), MSc in Media, Communication and Development and MSc in Politics and Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course aims to examine the various ways in which citizens, activists and social movements use, appropriate and consume media and technologies to resist, but also how resistance is represented and mediated, by citizens themselves, by the mainstream media and through movement media. The course will address several aspects of the intricate relationship between media and communication, resistance and activism. The course is organised around the core-concept of the 'mediation opportunity structure' referring to the opportunities for agency through media and communication, as well as the structural constraints preventing agency and stifling dissent. Both ICTs and more traditional media are considered and a dialectical perspective on power and the relationship between agency and structure is adopted with a particular emphasis on strategies of resistance. The different lectures will focus on various aspects of the mediation opportunity structure - mainstream-media representation, self-mediation, counter-hegemony, networked opportunities - using examples from various regions in the world. Some case-studies will be situated at a local level of analysis, others at a national, while again others might relate to regional contexts or even transnational levels of governance.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to complete advanced reading, prepare seminar presentations and submit one essay of 1,500 words.

Indicative reading

  • Bailey, Olga, Cammaerts, Bart and Carpentier, Nico (2007) Understanding Alternative Media, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Bennett, Lance and Segerberg, Alexandra (2013) The Logic of Connective Action: Digital Media and the personalization of Contentious Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cammaerts, Bart, Matoni, Alice and McCurdy, Patrick (eds) (2011) Mediation and Protest Movements. Bristol: Intellect.
  • Cammaerts, B. and Carpentier, N. (eds.) (2007) Reclaiming the Media: Communication Rights and Democratic Media Roles, ECREA book series, Bristol: Intellect.
  • Dahlgren, P. (2009) Media and political engagement: citizens, communication, and democracy, Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Della Porta, Donnatella and Diani, Mario (2006) Social Movements: An introduction - 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Downing, J. (2001) Radical Media: Rebellious Communication and Social Movements, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Johnston, Hank (ed.) (2009) Culture, Social Movements, and Protest. Farnham: Ashgate.
  • Martín-Barbero, Jesús (1993) Communication, Culture and Hegemony: From the Media to Mediation. London: Sage.
  • Ruiz, Pollyanna (2014) Articulating Dissent: Protest and the Public Sphere. London: Pluto Press.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 28.2
Merit 55.1
Pass 14.1
Fail 2.6

Teachers' comment

This course examines the way in which media and communication as tools, but also as processes, are relevant to activism, to social movements and ultimately to social and political change.

Students' comments

"Lecturer was very engaging, lectures and seminars were very insightful."

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2014/15: 30

Average class size 2014/15: 15

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills