Sean Thurtell

My journey in the field of Media Studies, above all other disciplines, has moulded me into the critical thinker I am today. My academic career began in 2011 as a BA undergraduate student. In 2014, I completed my Honours and am currently finalising my Master's degree. As I believe learning comes from interaction, I have tutored for three years in multiple departments on a variety of content. I have also had the opportunity to guest lecture third year and honours students. In 2017, I will be teaching the second year part-time students for the first semester at Wits Plus, as well as, guest lectures for the second year, first semester mainstream students.


BA (Hons) Media Studies (WITS, 2014) - with distinction.
BA Media Studies and Psychology (WITS, 2013)


I am intrigued by the complexities of the seemingly ordinary daily practices of consumerism. My field of focus is in the retail sector, more specifically malls. As a text, malls represent complex narratives of social insight about South Africa as an urban modernity, playing its part within a globalised consumer culture. My Honours research titles 'Sensory Consumerism, The Zombie and the Mall: an ethnographic semiotic analysis of Clearwater Mall', explored how we holistically consume with our senses long before making any monetary purchases. My current research project titled 'Shopping and Guns: An analysis of public discourses in social media about mall robberies in South Africa', delves into a variety of thematic content about public opinion regarding the effects that armed robberies has towards disrupting daily shopping experiences. As a discourse, this research highlights how mall robberies not only pose threats to public safety, but they also represent contestations towards the socioeconomic inequalities still present from apartheids engineered system of social segregation. Mall robberies are more than just acts of criminality, it is a social issue, and as media scholars it is our duty to highlight these issues through critical investigation.


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study with WITS media studies

Wits Media Studies will help you understand how media work and how they affect us. We critically analyse the role of media in politics, culture and the economy.
We contribute to scholarly debates and research about media and consumerism, and media and democracy in the Global South.
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