Media Introduction

‘Media’ is a popular topic that has featured on A-level (and similar) Sociology courses for many years. More recently, new material has been added to reflect the changing landscape of the media presented to us by (what is often referred to as) ‘new media’.

‘New’ and ‘Old’ Media

Some teachers may feel a little uncomfortable here, anticipating that ‘the students know more about it than me!’. Whilst this may well be the case with regards to the day-to-day workings of Facebook news feeds, Instagram posts and how to save an image from Snapchat, the focus needs to remain with Sociology and so of course any worries are usually over inflated. Nonetheless a usual starting point for all concerned is to examine the question of ‘what is (or are) the media’?

Here then we begin by considering (so-called) ‘new’ and ‘old’ media forms by looking at key definitions and audience engagement and then the impact of new media. We then offer resources on the subject of the ownership and control of the media, looking specifically at the concentration of power and the question of Globalisation or Americanisation?we offer material covering the selection and presentation of the content of the news. Here we consider how the news distorts our worldview,followed the case of the Chinese media and Hong Kong protests, and then we tackle the issue of setting the agenda. Then we look at media representations of ethnicity and Islamophobia, followed by gender representations, and then in more detail gender representations and the 2015 General Election and the media and older women. Finally we look at the relationship between the media and its audiences by considering media violence, children and advertising, models of media influence,and finally, the media, folk devils and moral panics.

More Resources from Discovering Sociology

Defining Health and Well-Being

Begin by asking students what it is to be ‘healthy’? How would they define this? I...


Deprivation and Conception

Direct students to this link for a short data response activity on the relationship between le...


Ethnicity and Health Inequalities

Differences in health and wellbeing between ethnic groups have been shown to be at least partl...


International Comparisons

Students should by now appreciate that there is a relationship between socio-economic status a...


Social Class and Health

Begin with a brainstorm activity – what do they anticipate about the relationship between soci...


The Biomedical Model

The biomedical model of health is the most dominant in the western world and focuses on health...


The Healthcare System

From the links, students could spend time finding out about the specific health needs in their...


The Social Model of Disability

The social model of disability suggests that disability arises from the ways in which society ...


The Social Model of Health

The social model of health considers a broader range of factors that influence health and well...


What are Health Chances?

Begin by asking them to consider the ways in which each of these factors could positively or n...


Health Introduction

The Sociology of Health looks at how social life and society impact on the health of individua...