COMM 1011 Data, Mediation and Power (WSTC)

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 700269

Coordinator Ariadna Kiehn Opens in new window

Description Data, Mediation and Power investigates the operation of power in contemporary digital media cultures and economy. The subject examines the primary role played by data in determining how we live in the world. This includes how we interact with the world, its people and digital artefacts, in terms of communication and meaning. The subject focuses on technologies of control and governance related to algorithmic architectures and data economies. Who benefits from data and mediation and what are the limits and possibilities of data? Ultimately, this kind of critical analysis invites us to think about what constitutes a just, democratic society and what constitutes an ethical media life.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Communication And Media Studies

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Co-requisite(s) Students enrolled in the combined DiplomaBachelor courses listed below must pass all College Preparatory units listed in the course structure before progressing to the Year Two units

Equivalent Subjects COMM 1023 - Mediated Mobilities COMM 1012 - Data Mediation and Power


Students must be enrolled at Western Sydney University, The College. Students enrolled in extended diplomas must pass 40 credit points from the preparatory subjects listed in the program structure prior to enrolling in this University level subject.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Identify how data both mediates and governs society and daily life in ways often connected to commercial interests.
  2. Understand the ways in which data informs the production of meaning (eg assessment of performance, analysis of texts, policy making informed by demographic modelling.
  3. Develop a critical capacity with regard to the limits and possibilities of data and its relation to the operation of power.

Subject Content

1. Identify and critique the key features of network cultures, including an historical overview of the miniaturisation of technology.
2. Examination of cultural contexts and mobile media and assessment of the interrelation between mobile media, privacy and public culture.
3. Overview of policy and the impact upon the availability of mobile media commodities and access to content (eg the rise of ?enational webs?f).
4. Assessment of the impact of network cultures as emergent institutional forms that challenge more traditional, modern institutional forms (state, firm, union, university).
5. Critical investigation of concepts of freedom and the extent to which mobile media facilitate and/or restrict forms of social and cultural mobility.
6. Identification of the limits of mobility, media and geo-cultural settings.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Quiz 10 questions 5 N Individual
Applied Project 700 words 25 N Individual
Applied Project 800 words 30 N Individual
Essay 1200 words 40 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Term 3 (2024)

Nirimba Education Precinct


Subject Contact Chantal Rozairo Opens in new window

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