Sunday, 27 February 2011

Collective Identity - Women

Please use this link or the link on the left:
Collective Identity - Women - resources and videos

It is not finished but there are already several videos of films we will refer to. Ther are also some key presentations to help you revise. I will keep updating it.

Past exam questions for Section B

Media and Collective Identity
1. To what extent do you think that contemporary representations of a particular social group mirror current social attitudes towards that group?
2. How does the contemporary representation of a particular social group compare to representations from the past?
3. "The media do not construct collective identity; they merely reflect it." Discuss.

Media in the Online Age
1. What impact has the internet had on media production, distribution and exhibition?
2. In the last few years what have been the most significant developments in how individuals use the internet?
3. "The impact of the internet on the media is revolutionary." Discuss.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Collective Identity - Women - The Bechdel test

We will be looking at and applying the test to films in next lesson. I thought some of you might want to get ahead and see if you can find films that successfully pass the test!

Reference: Nick Lacey's article - Engendering Change (in the pack I have given you)

For more interesting videos from the same source, see this website: It focuses on pop culture and you will find great examples for your essay!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Representations - COUP online magazine

You have got to subscribe (for free) to this great mag. The current issue (issue 7) has a fantastic article about stereotypes, and just check out the Cover! Some real gems in the following article as well about the relationship between PR and the media.

Online Age - The Social Network

Ms Lyall needs you to watch The Social Network, which you should have watched in last Thursday lesson.
Get a feel for the film and its issues by reading (and watching) on...

Why The Social Network should win the best picture Oscar - video
The year's best film set two in-form heavyweights to work on a key phenomenon of our times, says Andrew Pulver, in the latest of our videos evaluating the Oscar nominees

Article from Guardian Film Blog:
There's a Sweet Smell of Success about The Social Network
The dark influence of Alexander Mackendrick's 1957 classic about the print media lives on in David Fincher's Facebook film

Finally, you should have listened to the podcasts on The History of Social Networking and made some brief notes. Click on 'older posts' or on the 'social networking' label to find them.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Online Age - Changing Media Habits - Everyday Use

The changing place of media in everyday life: traditional media consumption compared with the more creative and flexible uses of media which are becoming more common today. At under seven minutes, this is the compact, fast version of a one-hour lecture.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Independent Study - Representation of women

Make sure you keep reading, watching and listening to representations of women and start making your notes using the 4 key questions as sub-headings.

Start by reading the materials on this blog and the articles that your peers have found and linked.

You should also put together some examples that you think would make an interesting answer. For example, look into that Tangled film and read reviews. You could contrast it to older Disney films and look at how gender representations have evolved (Mulan also springs to mind).

You could also start selecting some TV or magazines adverts and analyze them

You could choose to focus on soaps and start exploring some key female characters.

Finally, remember to conduct your research into how a female audience responds to these representations and how they might be affected by them.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Debates about representation - Pete Fraser's blog

Re: the Eastenders cot death/kidnap plotline saga, here is what Pete Fraser wrote on his blog about it. He focuses on what it is that infuriated some of the mums from mumsnet, i.e. the representation of grieving mothers on the tele. The relevant clips are embedded inhis post.
Debates about Representation

(Apologies to the girls - it was posted!)

Online Age - video to watch

Watch Julian McDougall explain what we mean by Media 2.0, including the notions of The Long Tail and Wikinomics, two very important ideas which you need to know for your exam.

NOTE: Log-in details required.

Julian McDougall on Media 2.0

If you need support to understand what Henry Jenkins talks about inhis "Convergence Culture" book, then watch this short student Video - also a nice way to add to your own notes.

Representation / Identity - videos to watch

Please watch the videos from the Media magazine website which are listed below. NOTE: You will need your log-in details.
David Buckinghan on:
Ideology - Debates about Identity
Representation - A definition including Stereotypes

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Representations of women - Slides from lessons

Here is a shortened version; it contains slides which we did not have time to cover but would be useful for you in terms of planning your research and thinking about the impact of media representations on women (i.e. how they might affect their sense of identity). Find the research task towards the end.

representations: construction of gender in popular culture

representations construction of gender in popular culture

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Teenage Media Consumption Habits

Find the results of different national surveys and draw some conclusions after comparing these results to your own habits.
Conclusions of the report - Go here to Teens, media and why you shouldn't believe the hype and here to Media consumption habits change as teens age

How teens use media

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Online Age: social media revolution

Watch this! Great basic facts that you should know! Social media is definitely not a fad...

Collective Identity - Stuart Hall on Representation and the Media

Democracy: TV Leaders' debates during election campaign

TV leaders' debates did get young engaged with election
Study reveals that televised face-offs successfully attracted first-time voters and got them talking about politics
Read full article here.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Collective Identity - Women

Online Age / We Media / Democracy

From Paris to Cairo, these protests are expanding the power of the individual
Twitter is only part of the story of the empowering of a generation failed by the evaporated promises of the labour market
Read full story here.

At the heart of the movement is a new sociological type – the graduate with no future. They have access to social media that allow them to express themselves in defiance of corporately owned media and censorship. With Facebook, Twitter, and Yfrog truth travels faster than lies, and propaganda becomes flammable.
But the sociology of the movements is only part of the story. Probably the key factor is "horizontalism" which has become the default method of organising. Technology makes non-hierarchical organising easy: it kills vertical hierarchies spontaneously, whereas the quintessential experience of the 20th century was that movements became hierarchised, killing dissent within, channelling the energies in destructive directions.
In addition, the speed of doing things compensates for their relative lack of organization: in this the protesters have stumbled upon the principle of asymmetry – a swarm of disorganized people can effect change against a slow-moving hierarchical body.
On top of that there is the network. It's become axiomatic that the network is more powerful than the hierarchy.

The Secret History of Social Networking with Rory Cellan-Jones PT2

The Secret History of Social Networking with Rory Cellan-Jones PT1

Abc of Audience Demographics

Changing Behaviour of Marketing Communications (Online Age)

You might want to start with reading the conclusion.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Online Age - How Twitter engineers outwitted Mubarak in one weekend

How Twitter engineers outwitted Mubarak in one weekend
The way Twitter managed to get past Egypt's internet shutdown was the perfect example of a crisis breeding innovation.

Read the article here (Guardian online)

When they first came to office, the Obama team had a mantra: "Never waste a good crisis". They then spent the next two years doing exactly the opposite. In the past few months we've seen a couple of decent crises – the first involving WikiLeaks, the second involving the political upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt. Both involve the internet in one way or another. So, in the spirit of Obama Mk I, let us ponder what might be learned from them.
The moral of the story: if governments want to keep information secure, then they have to think architecturally about system design. [...]

The WikiLeaks story has lessons for the rest of us too. The speed with which Amazon and PayPal dropped WikiLeaks should be a wake-up call to anyone who thinks that Cloud Computing services can be trusted to protect the interests of their customers when the government cuts up rough. The idealistic kids who signed up to participate in denial-of-service attacks on PayPal and the credit-card companies as retribution for cutting off WikiLeaks's funding need to learn how to conceal their IP addresses before they engage in "hacktivism" – as many of them discovered this week when the police came knocking.

For hardcore geeks, the WikiLeaks saga should serve as a stimulant to a new wave of innovation which will lead to a new generation of distributed, secure technologies (like the TOR networking system used by WikiLeaks) which will enable people to support movements and campaigns that are deemed subversive by authoritarian powers. A really good example of this kind of technological innovation was provided last week by Google engineers, who in a few days built a system that enabled protesters in Egypt to send tweets even though the internet in their country had been shut down. "Like many people", they blogged, "we've been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we can do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service – the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection."

They worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter and SayNow (a company Google recently acquired) to build the system. It provides three international phone numbers and anyone can tweet by leaving a voicemail. The tweets appear on

How Cameron used the term "collective identity" and the repercussions of the speech

You can read the article here and then reflect on what David Cameron means by "collective identity" when he argues that, over decades, the "doctrine of state multiculturalism caused a 'weakening of our collective identity' which led young Muslim men to be drawn to extremism."

How would you define our collective British identity? How does he seem to define it? Is multiculturalism a threat to our collective identity or a part of it?

Furthermore, it is not so much whether you agree with him, but do look at reactions to the speech and what they reveal about commentators' (opinion leaders') views on multiculturalism. Is it there still a taboo / sensitive subject? Are there still things you cannot say? Or is it more about the context in which and the audience to whom you express these ideas? Are the reactions to the speech opening up the debate about multiculturalism and extremism or shutting it down?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Re: The Eastenders plotline - research

Since one of the groups is looking at this topic, this is Charlie Brooker's column on the question.
Complaining about the lack of realism in EastEnders is like moaning that Monster Munch crisps don't taste of monsters
Combining a cot-death with a baby-swap was one extreme event too far for EastEnders fans
Full article here. [link fixed!]

Also see Pete Fraser's Blog on the question, though he focuses on Representation.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Media and Democracy / Global Media - Al Jazeera site 'hacked'

Al Jazeera site 'hacked by opponents of pro-democracy movement' in Egypt
Read full article here (from

Al Jazeera's Arabic news website was hacked into today following its coverage of anti-government protests in Egypt, according to the Qatar-based broadcaster.
In a release, Al Jazeera claimed that for two hours this morning – from 6.30am to 8.30am Doha time – a banner advertisement was replaced with a slogan saying 'Together for the collapse of Egypt', which linked to a page criticising the broadcaster.
A spokesman for Al Jazeera said their engineers had quickly solved the problem.
"Our website has been under relentless attack since the onset of the uprisings in Egypt. We are currently investigating what happened today. While the deliberate attacks this morning were an attempt to discredit us we will continue our impartial and comprehensive coverage of these unprecedented events.
"As with all the other obstacles that have been put in our path, whether that be the detention of journalists, confiscation of equipment, or having our broadcast signal interfered with, we will continue doing our job of reporting on events in Egypt."

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Michael Wesch's project - The Visions of Students Today

Here students from everywhere are invited to submit their videos to contribute to "The Visions of Students Today". I thought it might give you some ideas, particularly for your work on your Media Consumption Habits. This is a trailer mixing several students' submissions.
You can see more here. He is still currently inviting students to contribute and share till 15 February. If you want to contribute, tag your video VOST2011.