Whether we are an expat, a local inhabitant, a colleague, an international student, a migrant, a refugee, a spouse, a parent, unmarried, unemployed, or a differently abled person, we all live in increasingly culturally diverse settings, negotiate our multiple belongings, identifications and political position. We find it crucial to understand, explore and conceptualise the diversity we live in, and the central role of media (books, newspapers, TV, social media, social networking sites and so on) here. In the last decade, the global order has been challenged by various crises, notably the climate crisis, the 2008 economic crisis, the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ and the rise of extremism and populism in different parts of the world. In today’s world of mobility, crises, and flows of migration, we come across many different types of diversities in our daily life and we ask:
- How do people coming from different ethnic, class and religious backgrounds live together in today’s rapidly shifting world?
- What is the role of media in representing diversity?
- How can we investigate and understand the diversity we live in?
Diversity can be seen as one of key programme values of the MSc in Media and Communication studies, and a course on Media and diversity will engage this topic from a range of different perspectives. We offer a course that critically evaluates ideas about diversity and the role of the media in creating space for diversity, and in the construction of a society's moral imaginary; and, therefore, in the representation of others and in how media practices contributes to this understanding. Can media be a space for challenging polarisations and injustices, regarding issues such as racism, Islamophobia, environmentalism, and humanitarianism? In doing so, we aspire to higher education becoming a transformative experience, creating socially aware, socially engaged, tolerant, open, respectful students and global citizens, who will contribute to the wider society or world they live in.