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About Face

The basic rationale behind this American site is the promotion of "positive self-esteem in girls and women..." and the site contains a range of interesting information to this particular end. In terms of Media Sociology, however, the most-useful parts of the site are the galleries of adverts relating to the different ways female bodies are used positively and negatively in advertising. If you dig around on the site you'll also find some interesting research into areas like body image, the media and eating disorders that could be used to supplement / stimulate further discussion.

Advertising Association

Any site that advertises itself as "Promoting and Protecting the Rights, Responsibilities and Role of Advertising" is probably not going to win any awards for objectivity, but once you appreciate this there's a reasonable amount of information available here on various aspects of advertising. In addition, there are links to "Member Sites" and the Food Advertising Unit (which, admittedly, doesn't sound too exciting but actually contains some reasonable articles / information).

Artlab

Artlab "...explores new forms of research which engage participants on a creative, artistic and/or visual level". In other words, it features research projects based around the use of visual media as a means of gathering data - and very good it is too. It's well worth a visit for both the media content and and insight into a slightly-different type of research methodology.

Anti-Mass Media

A whole bunch of interesting (and not-so-interesting) links to sites / info relating to subliminal messages / advertising (although you might find Mike Hill's sublime analysis of Jurassic Park more-convincing).  

Methods and Representations:

The Bechdel Test

The Bechdel Test is a very simple type of content analysis that lets students test how women – and by extension men – are historically represented in Hollywood films.

Bill Douglas Centre

Bill Douglas' site ("The History of Cinema and Popular Culture") is a virtual off-shoot of an actual Centre (situated in the School of English at Exeter University). The site features both a Tour and a number of "virtual exhibitions" (both permanent and temporary) which consist of neatly-designed (hyper) text and graphics.

Globalisation and the Digital World

A Resource Pack (a mix of PowerPoints and documents) to help you teach this Unit of the OCR A-Level Sociology Specification.

Good Logo

Not a site that's going to be much direct use to A-level students, but one that might serve teachers well as a source of ideas and references when talking about concepts like globalisation.

Media Smarts

The Media Awareness Network has now evolved into this site - a fabulous (Canadian) media resource for teachers and students that contains far too much information to describe or do justice to in a few words. The site has loads of resources, lesson plans and information about media issues (stereotyping, ethnicity, class, gender and so forth) amongst many other things - it's probably easier if you just see for yourself..

Media Guardian

Another in the long line of (really quite good) Guardian spin-off sites. If you're familiar with either The Guardian web site or the print version of Media Guardian you'll know what to expect from this site - all the latest media related stories mixed in with a variety of special reports (and just a little bit of gossip from the wild 'n' wacky world of the meeja). As you would expect, the site has an extensive search capability (including an archive section), making it relatively easy to find articles.

Mediaknowall

Although aimed at Media Studies students, there's enough good stuff here to satisfy Sociology students (and their teachers). You'll find notes on a range of general (Postmodernism, Representation) and specific (Ideology, Institution, etc.) topics which are both snappy and informative. Each set of notes is liberally sprinkled with hyperlinked references that have been well-integrated into the text - guiding the student to explore new areas in ways that build on the presented information. Well worth a visit.

Moving History

"The Moving History web site is a research guide to the United Kingdom’s twelve public sector film archives and provides a showcase for their collections. Moving History's role is to show, describe and provide links to these key collections located around the UK". In other words, a massive library of films to browse and view online dealing with various aspects of UK social history.

Museum of Hoaxes

The manipulation of photographs (for fun, profit and ideology) is not something that's confined to the Photoshop generation - individuals and organisations have been doing it for years (since the birth of photography in fact).

This sprawling site offers a range of ideas and resources relating to media manipulations and hoaxes that provides plenty of interesting material (including simple on-line quizzes) on which to draw.

Study Tour of Communication

Although this series of on-line tutorials (better-known as a bit of text and some graphics on a web page) covers "communication" in all its guises, this does of course include the mass media - and the Mass Communication tutorial contains a range of helpful notes on key media theories and concepts.

Spielberg’s Subtext


You might think this video lecture by Mike Hill is a little long at 30 minutes but you'd be mistaken. And you'd be wrong  because it's jam-packed with interesting material and analysis, mainly, it has to be said, of Jurassic Park - a film that's nearly 25 years old (and compared favourably here against its younger and much-inferior sibling, Jurassic World). Leaving that aside, however, what you've got here is a form of semiological media analysis that looks to uncover the subtexts - or subconscious readings - embedded in Spielburg's movie (it's all about family, apparently).

The Impact of Social Media

Free set of teaching resources aimed, in the UK, at those following the OCR A-level Specification but applicable to other Specs that study digital / social media. The resources combine an extensive PowerPoint Lesson Plan filled with information and activities with teacher and student study packs.

TV Cream


This is one great site to browse, whether you're looking for evidence of some long-forgotten "TV Gem" (just to prove you really were alive in 1965) or you want to engage in some (semi-) serious Media Sociology archive research. In basic terms, a site that reviews just about every TV programme there may ever have been (and probably some that were made up - you'd have to, wouldn't you?). Also includes Newspaper resumes (acerbic) and some (mainly teen) magazines. A labour of luv (as they used to write) that probably serves no useful purpose at all (Discuss).

TheoryHead

Another part of David Gauntlett's burgeoning empire, this particular site supports his "bestselling book" Media, Gender and Identity and contains a fair bit of useful stuff offered as "bonus features" to complement the text. This, in the main, consists of various articles, interviews and discussion-pieces on the general theme of gender and the media (it probably won't surprise you to learn). There's not a great deal here, but what there is should prove useful to both students (especially those doing coursework in this general area) and teachers wanting to keep abreast of the latest developments.


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