Powerpoint Project on Sociology

•Ten Questions by Joel Charon
•Sociological Oddyssey:Contemporary Readings in Sociology

Find images that socialize us to think in ways that either preserve or subvert social order.

You may use contemporary images, but you will also need some historic images, to show change over time.

Look at this blog to get ideas of how to analyze visual culture: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/ search around on the site using different ideas that interest you, such as class relations in cartoons, for instance. Like here is an interesting analysis of the racialization of mental illness: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/05/23/the-racialization-of-mental-illness/

Look at the media or other example of visual culture you chose (a television show or shows, a movie or movies, posters, advertisements, magazines, social media, online culture or street culture) and try to pick out examples from those aspects of visual culture that teach us racist, sexist or classist ideas, or teach us other ideological beliefs that support the existing power structure.

Watch the movies or television shows you have picked, cut out pictures from magazines, photograph billboards, gather advertisements. Don’t just google “women and media,” go out there in the world and find your data in real life! The goal here is to find a pattern of ideological messages across different examples that you will show the class (e.g. scenes in movies or TV, pictures from magazines or advertisements, screenshots from the internet). For example, if you are interested in how LGBTQ people have been portrayed over time, you could look for stereotypes in old television shows that you could compare to the new way people of this identity are portrayed today. Similarly, you could find differences in how race is dealt with in old stories in movies or television, and how it is dealt with today. Same for gender. If you don’t understand what I mean by this part of the instructions, please email me.

Make notes while you watch. What patterns of messaging do you see? What do the images or visuals make you think about the society that made them? Keep these notes — they will need to be attached to your final Portfolio.

Compare your present day images to ones from the past. Take a look at this database for some images to use for comparison:

Think about how the messages conveyed via contemporary media and other aspects of visual cultures, such as billboards or advertisements, have a history, and have changed over time. Try to develop a hypothesis as to why and how this change has occurred, and then look to see if you are right about how things have changed, by examining your evidence, which consists of the images you will collect while doing your research.

To assemble your data illustrating the patterns you found to show the class, take screenshots, pull clips of moving images, assemble still images, or the photographs you took to create a collection of images that tells the story of what you observed in them, in a way that clearly explains the patterns for which the images you chose are evidence. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO DO ORIGINAL WORK — just posting someone else’s ‘sociology of the media’ assignment will not earn course credit (e.g. don’t just google Sociology 100 projects on YouTube — make your own!)

To make it clear that your project is original work, you will need to make a cite to the source of all media or images you looked at and decided to use in your presentation, in order to reference back to it in the bibliography of your essay in the form of a list of all the websites and other source materials you used.

Second Stage of the Project:


For this stage, you will need to put together a presentation: make a collage, put all the images in a powerpoint presentation, or make a movie, or just assemble the images and captions in order so you can upload them to your Progress Portfolio page:

Make sure you include the following in your visual aid:

Add captions or explanatory labels, make it as visually interesting as you can. Explain your images concisely as you can. Descriptions in your captions are a crucial and required part of the project.
It should take no more than 2-3 minutes to view the whole visual aid and read the captions.
Plan sharing your visual aid with the class on via your Progress Portfolio page.

Third Stage: DO THE ANALYSIS AND WRITE about it in YOUR captions:

Make sure you have all of the following in your captions:

First slide: Describe why you chose this aspect of visual culture to analyze.

Next few images/pages: Tell us about what you observed. What were the most interesting or key things that you saw when you looked at your image data? A bulleted list is fine here.

Next points — Analyze what is going on in your data.
YOUR ARE REQUIRED TO ANSWER EACH ONE OF THESE QUESTIONS IN YOUR captions, addressing the following four areas:


Answer as follows:

What PATTERNS can you see?
What messages about people in this aspect of visual culture are we being sent? What are we learning about who is important, and why? Who is made to look bad, or useless, or dangerous, and why? Tell us about the specific images you chose, e.g. the caption should say something like this: “In this photograph of a boy and a girl, you can see the weak position the girl takes from the way the boy stands over her in the photo. This image shows the boy as dominant and therefore supports ideological messages than men should be stronger than women.”

What STRUCTURAL forces (e.g. economics, demographics, politics) have contributed the LOOK AND FEEL of media or examples of visual culture you chose? What is the context (that is, the environment or setting) of your data?

Why are the people who are valued in the images you chose being depicted that way? What do the images or examples of media you chose tell you about who prevails (to use C. Wright Mills’ term) in the society that made it? Who is paying for this visual output and who is making money from it? Who is the intended audience? What kinds of images are not being seen — that is, what ideas might be suppressed by this portion of visual culture? Try to answer at least some of these questions in the captions you use to explain the images you have chosen that exhibit these patterns.

How has this phenomenon changed over time? What is the HISTORY of what you are showing us?
Is what you saw in your example of visual culture something that has always been there, or is it different from what it was in the past? Please explain, making reference to your data in your captions.

What 2 CONCEPTS from the Charon or Adler reader can explain what is happening in your examples from visual culture? (some useful concepts are as follows: socialization, culture, hegemonic masculinity, strategic assimilation, stratification, social structure, rationalization, bureaucratization, flexible ethnicity, controlling images, exploitation, alienation, or others). Use these two concepts as follows:

Define the concept, using a quote from the reading, cited, marked out with quotation marks, with page number.

Put the concept into your own words.

Use the concept to explain what you found in your data as a separate slide, or as part of the captions throughout.






Make an Appendix: attach all your observation notes from watching media and printouts of any website or magazine from which you drew data and your images. This is your chance to show that you did your own work. Think of it as your insurance against plagiarism, which is an actionable offense.

Make a bibliography. Include all web addresses and source information for every image used.

FORMAT: Make sure your visual aid’s images and captions can be pasted directly into the wiki website so that there is no need to download any files to view your work. A minimum of FIVE IMAGES IS REQUIRED, or if you made a film, a minimum of 2 minutes is required.

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