• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Sociology
  • Areas of interest Political Communication, Political Sciences, Sociology, Human Rights, Politics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Paul Jones
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces major issues in media sociology using the concept of the public sphere as its organising framework. Three mutually dependent themes also organise the course: (i) news cultures and related normative ideals and debates (especially the ongoing 'crisis of journalism' usually attributed to the digital transformation of means of communication); (ii) the  ideal of 'informed citizenship' as understood (and challenged) in media sociology and related policy areas e.g. the role of public service broadcasting systems; (iii) the populist challenge to the public sphere framework and the norms and institutions with which it has become associated e.g. 'quality journalism'.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Recognise some key controversies and debates within the literature on public sphere and media.
  2. Identify the basic elements of dispute within a theoretical or methodological perspective.
  3. Display skills associated with scholarly inquiry about the public sphere including those related to critical analysis, argument and written expression.
  4. Express ideas in writing with conceptual coherence.

Indicative Assessment

Critical Review, 1500 words (40%) LO 1,2,3
Tutorial Presentation of 10 minutes (10%) LO 1,2,3
Final Essay, 3000 words (50%) LO 1,2

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


One 2 hour lecture and one 1 hour tutorial per week for 13 weeks.  Students are expected to commit a further 7 hours of independent study each teaching week of the semester (total 130 hours)

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 12 units of 1000 level courses, or with permission of the convenor.

Prescribed Texts

Readings will be provided on the course Wattle site

Preliminary Reading

Jones,P.K & Holmes,D. (2011) Key Concepts in Media & Communications. London: Sage.

Fraser, N. (1992) ‘Rethinking the Public Sphere: towards a critique of actually existing democracy’. In Craig Calhoun (ed) Habermas and the Public Sphere: Critical Debates. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Fuchs, C. (2014). Social media and the public sphere. tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society, 12(1), 57-101.
Habermas, J. (2009). ‘Media, Markets and Consumers: The Quality Press as the Backbone of the Public Sphere.’ In Europe: The Faltering Project. Cambridge (UK): Polity Press.
Habermas,J. (1974) ‘The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article’, New German Critique 1(3), 49-55. (First published 1964).
Jacobs, R. N. (2010) ‘Entertainment Media and the Aesthetic Public Sphere’. In J.Alexander, R.Jacobs & P.Smith (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology. N.Y.: Oxford UP.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9619 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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