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Media Representations and Research Methods: Critical Discourse Analysis, Social Semiotics and News Framing

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 6211 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €499 one-time
More information



Course Description
How do you make sense of the wide variety of perspectives in the media? For example, how can we interpret newspaper coverage of the War in Ukraine, tweets by Elon Musk, or Instagram posts on climate change, food, and migration? This course offers you academic yet practical answers to these questions. It teaches you the analytical skills to study the possible meanings of textual and visual media representations.
Interactive lectures raise your understanding of concepts and methods, helping you examine what combinations of words and/or visual elements could mean in terms of a broader debate in society. These lectures further teach you how national identities and power relations affect the interpretations of media representations. Your individual assignment concerns a short paper, in which you apply a method to study one or two news articles, short YouTube videos, or social media posts. You will write and present this paper during this two-week course.
Exclusively for this Summer School, Dr. Leonhardt van Efferink developed a template that helps you write a well-structured course paper. On top of this, he offers individual feedback in class and active personal tutoring by e-mail. Finally, his support includes a comprehensive framework to develop focused, consistent, and transparent research questions.

• Write a well-structured research paper in which you study media representations with textual and/or visual elements (e.g., newspaper/magazine articles with photos, cartoons, and Instagram/Twitter posts).
• Develop a research method that draws on critical discourse analysis, social semiotic analysis, and/or news framing analysis, in line with your research objectives.
• Formulate research questions that are clear, focused, and consistent, saving you a lot of time later in the research process.
• Compile a dataset for your thesis or dissertation that is manageable and relevant.
• Understand the complexity of text-image relations and their role in meaning-making processes.
• Explain the role of the national and ideological contexts in which (social) media content is being produced.

Recommended Literature
Below you find some general reading suggestions. It is not required to do some reading before the course. If you like to read something, select the sources that are closest to your research interests. Alternatively, please ask Leonhardt for personal reading advice or check his website: vanefferink.com/summer-school-media-representations-and-research-methods/ (on this page, you also find the timetable for the course)
1. ▪ Fowler, R. (1991) Language in the news. Discourse and ideology in the press.
2. ▪ Jørgensen, M. and Phillips, L. (2002) Discourse analysis. As theory and method.
3. ▪ Machin, D. (2007) Introduction to multimodal analysis.
4. ▪ Machin, D. and Mayr, A. (2012) How to do critical discourse analysis.
5. ▪ Reisigl, M. and Wodak, R. (2001) Discourse and discrimination. Rhetorics of racism and antisemitism.
6. ▪ Richardson, J. (2007) Analysing newspapers. An approach from critical discourse analysis.
7. ▪ Royce, T. D. (2006). Intersemiotic complementarity: A framework for multimodal discourse analysis. In T. D. Royce, & W. Bowcher (Eds.), New directions in the analysis of multimodal discourse (pp. 63-109).
8. ▪ Van Efferink, L. (2018) Research Paper Template for Media Representations Analysis. vanefferink.com/tutorial_research_paper_template_for_media_representations_analysis/
9. ▪ Van Leeuwen, T. (2008) Discourse and practice. New tools for critical discourse analysis.
10. ▪ Wodak, R. and Meyer, M. (eds., 2016) Methods of critical discourse studies.

Teaching Methods
Lectures, Presentations

Assessment Methods
Attendance, Final Paper, Participation, Presentation

Course Coordinator
Dr. Leonhardt van Efferink

Apply now! Maastricht Summer School 2023/24
Application deadline
19 Jul 2024, 23:59:59
Central European Time
Studies commence
19 Aug 2024
Apply now! Maastricht Summer School 2023/24
Application deadline
19 Jul 2024, 23:59:59
Central European Time
Studies commence
19 Aug 2024