Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Identity, immigration and Britishness

British identity is a topic we've returned to throughout this year, as mandated by the new Conservative government for schools UK-wide.

Here's the PowerPoint (produced by Miss Lister) we've been using:

Using any of the resources provided or others you find, produce a video of between 2-5 minutes in which you explore and set your view on what Britishness/British identity means to you.
this should feature:
  • quotes from politicians and experts
  • headlines from media coverage
  • statistics
  • images
  • 'vox pops' (video footage of) of students or others giving their views on this
 You should include some demographic, census figures in this.

EXTENSION TASKS: review and complete this worksheet:

If there is sufficient, you will also be tasked with completing this:


Some resources you can use not just for this task but for other work (and subjects) too.

20 min clip of a discussion programme filmed in a York school exploring the question "should we promote a united British identity?"

The reaction to this is notable in itself - look at how these two uploaders put an entirely different slant on this show:

In a time of resurgent nationalism in Scotland and Wales, this 7min clip looks at the complexities of fixing on a British identity. There is a real surprise in some of the findings - contrary to the stereotype, older people are LESS likely to identify as British, and this is also true for ethnicity, as is explored in the clip.

BBC REPORT FROM 2008: Ridicule for suggesting promotion of British identity?
The response when a notionally left-wing party, Labour, proposed a national day and compulsory education on British identity, there was widespread resistance and much negative media coverage. This BBC report takes an impartial look at the response to proposals which are similar to those passed some 7 years later by a new right-wing government with little fuss or controversy.


Thursday, 12 November 2015

PRESS right-wing coverage of para Bloody Sunday arrest

NOTE: this contains a range of complex terms, useful for much more than a General Studies exam. If you are a Media student you will in time be familiar with all of these, but can apply these in a range of subjects.

Nifty bit of content analysis (a 'quantitative,' objective' as opposed to subjective [eg semiotics] research methodology) by Roy Greenslade, reviewing how the story of a British soldier's arrest for murdering civilians in Bloody Sunday was treated.

Greenslade notes how the headlines of three right-wing papers focus on the anger of those opposed to the arrest.

He delves deeper, comparing a count of those quoted who are opposed to the number of relatives of the dead quoted, highlighting the stark disparity.

This, by the way, meshes well with a classic political economy approach, the framework laid out in Chomsky's propaganda model. He proposed that five filters ensure that counter-hegemonic ideas (information or arguments that might undermine the power base of ruling elites - it is Marxist influenced) are filtered out of media discourse; the media function not to underpin democracy but to undermine it. One filter is anti-left-wing propaganda, which we can see very clearly with the hysterical, rabid coverage of Jeremy Corbyn (let's not forget the very timid Ed Miliband, judged to be very right-wing by the Political Compass site, was dubbed Red Ed for his supposedly extreme leftist views!). Another is source strategies: selecting and highlighting sources favourable to the interests of the establishment.

The bias is evident - read Greenslade's analysis for more details.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Yr11: Pressure Groups + Protest Campaigns


Protest campaigns are launched every day about all sorts of issues, from the future of our planet to the rage against the X Factor domination of the pop charts!
We're looking at citizen-led campaigns and pressure/protest groups, though big business is quick to mimic the tactics and style of such campaigns, as this list of 20 of the most innovative Facebook campaigns, and this list of 10 top Facebook campaigns, demonstrates.

As a starting point, to demonstrate how campaigns can attract wide attention, consider the various x for Number One campaigns that sought to keep Simon Cowell's latest X Factor protegy off the Xmas number one spot - how many of these campaigns can you name?

Here's music magazine Q's list of their top 5 such campaigns.