Today there is hardly any area of culture and society that is not permeated by media communication. Not only have everyday life and leisure become ‘media everyday life’ and ‘media leisure’, in the design of which the individ-ual or joint use of media plays a growing role: In a parallel development, the media are increasingly becoming globalized. Intercultural and transcultural communication are gaining importance. Under these conditions, the professional field of the media is also subject to continuous change. The drivers of this development as well as those driven by it are not only the media institutions themselves. In other sectors, too, employees and companies alike are also confronted with the challenge of having to familiarize themselves with ever new types of media communication and tools and making them usable for their own purposes. As a result, new media-related occupational fields are continually being created. This calls for a sound understanding of the communication processes enabled by the media.
With a view to this advancing mediatization and the media-driven globaliza-tion of everyday (professional) life as well as of culture and society as a whole, the research-oriented M.A. program “Media Culture and Globalization” addresses the entire range of media communication – from the print-ed media (e.g., newspapers, journals), through audiovisual media (e.g. film, television), up to digital media (e.g. computer-mediated communication and mobile communication). The master’s program adopts an integrative approach: It does not reduce “media culture” to any specific subarea of culture, such as the field of highly culturally valued or popular cultural media products, but rather understands culture in its entirety as constituted in the broadest sense via communication processes enabled by media.
Media culture and its current globalization are the core focus of the Master’s program for a twofold reason: On the one hand, today’s cultures and the processes of globalization shaping them cannot be adequately grasped without taking media communication into account. On the other hand, it is not possible to engage adequately in media-enabled communication – even in a most straightforward manner – without taking the cultural context of communication into account.
Such a media-cultural approach breaks with the traditional perspectives of communication and media research embedded primarily in the social sciences or the humanities. By focusing on the processes of public communication as well as the field of media-enabled interpersonal communication, our approach expands the comparatively narrow view of journalistic study programs by including a focus on journalistic communication. At the same time, it reaches beyond literary study programs on media (culture), with their aesthetic focus on individual media and media products, without eschewing the necessary subject-specific specialization.
In terms of such an overarching perspective, beside the core area of advanced theory and methods training in communication and media research, the concept behind the M.A. study program Media Culture and Globalization encompasses cross-disciplinary electives with study components in culture theory, transcultural media and media informatics, as well as a practical phase directly linked to the regional media industry. This program structure offers students a wide range of electives to choose from as well as scope to develop individual specialties and profile building.
In doing so, the M.A. in Media Culture and Globalization is content-wise systematically geared to the international academic landscape. It thus takes into account the fact that not only media-enabled communication itself is increasingly taking place in an intercultural or transcultural context, but also that media-related professions and fields of activity are subject to ongoing globalization processes.
The integrative program concept is reflected in the following study objectives:
• In-depth scientific and application-oriented development of media communication theories in the areas of communicator / journalism research, media product analysis and impact / reception / appropriation research – each with a focus on media culture and its globalization;
• Differentiated knowledge of current forms of media culture, including hybrid communication (computer-aided communication, mobile communication);
• Differentiated knowledge of European media systems and media cultures, their historical development and transformation and international contextualization;
• Knowledge in the field of culture theory, transcultural media and media-informatics, with a special focus on problem issues of media culture and its globalization (as electives);
• Practical media experience of at least two different media with a focus on processes of media conception (as electives);
• Knowledge and practical experience with established empirical methods of media culture research, especially with regard to the conception and realization of independent empirical research projects on different media-cultural phenomena;
• Basic media culture research and media culture analysis, in particular with a focus on the ongoing change and the globalization of media cultures;
• Key qualifications, in particular in the area of concept planning, project management, presentation techniques, media literacy, moderation and chairing debates, as well as teamwork and leadership tasks.
The specific profile of the M.A. Media Culture and Globalization is thus marked by an interdisciplinary focus, advanced methods training, compre-hensive internationalization, and finally a clear link to media-related research or professional practice:
Disciplinary and interdisciplinary focus: Fundamentally rooted in communication and media studies, the M.A. Media Culture and Globalization is supplemented by the optional inclusion of cultural theory (cultural science), transcultural media research (ethnology) and media informatics (computer science). It integrates those disciplines most highly relevant for addressing the transformation of contemporary media cultures brought about by globalization and digitization.
Integrative methods training: Students of the master’s program Media Culture and Globalization receive in-depth training in various established methods of empirical media culture research, consistently reaching beyond the limits of theory development and theory-testing or qualitative and quantitative methods. Behind this is the view that current media cultures and their communication processes can only be grasped analytically by means of a broad set of methodological instruments.
International orientation: The master’s program Media Culture and Globalization has a clear international profile, focusing on media cultures in their intercultural and transcultural contexts, on the one hand, and on the other hand comprehensive international cooperation, in particular with partner universities in other European countries. There are various opportunities for international exchange (Erasmus contracts), that enable both foreign students to undertake a stay in Bremen and students of the master’s program Media Culture and Globalization to spend a semester abroad.
Mentored practical experience: Students of the master’s program Media Culture and Globalization can either integrate an internship phase into their course of studies, or participate in teaching projects with partner media businesses and institutions in Bremen and beyond. It is particularly desirable for students to take advantage of the latter opportunity as this can be used to relate the contents of the study program to professional practice and is not limited to the level of individual engagement, for example within the context of finding a suitable internship. There are excellent contacts to regional and national media businesses and institutions, which are secured over the long term not least by the advisory board of the different media study programs.
The master’s program Media Culture and Globalization thus leans on the design of study programs offered in the field of global media culture at British universities, but distinguishes itself by the inclusion of integrative methods training as well as interdisciplinary content.