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Is Media Studies really a soft subject? Are people not just being prejudiced? watch

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    Following on from my previous thread, is it really? I think it's gotten a lot of unfair stick from all sorts of people. From people on here to Michael Gove, the shadow Education secretary. It is an unfounded prejudice.

    You have the media department in my school boasting about how their students have been accepted in IR courses, Medicine courses and how a couple of students were accepted into Oxbridge.

    Is it really so much different to English? Instead of analysing Victorian texts you do the same analysis on more modern, relevant texts. The only difference is that one source material is considered worthy and the other not. And why is that?

    Is it so much different from DT in that you have to plan and then produce a product? There are some people in my media class who produce truly astounding work that I challenge any Economist to produce. It is a skill onto itself.

    Media is every where in the world, manipulating consumers. Media Studies students just understand much better how they are being manipulated and in turn how they can manipulate others. Media is consumed on a daily basis and affects everyone.

    I love the subject. I love researching previous campaigns and then deciding on how to structure my campaign. I love looking at the little details, e.g how the colours in my advert will manipulate the audience. I love the gathering of equipment, the organizing of actors, the filming and the editing.

    I love looking at different texts and mediums, deciding how they represent different people, what genre/classification they are and what ideologies they present. It's not always easy.

    How many of you can name famous media theorists and what their theories were? How their theories still apply to modern day mediums? How they have brought to light many different issues?

    So why, oh why, is it considered a soft subject?
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    Because there's a practical element in it, and tbh people often get better grades in it then maths etc. I haven't found it hard for A-Level, just extremely time consuming. It's still quite academic though - I've had to read two books for my cw research project along with collating a load of other info from various sources and that's only a third of the a2 coursework, and there's quite a bit of theory, not loads though.
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    A lot of the people who consider it soft are bandwagoners. They don't really know anything about media but hear others putting it down, so they just call it soft themselves. But yeah, it is probably soft due to the practical element in it and a lot of 'tossers' tend to pick it as well, so that tells you it's easy.
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    Well I don't think so. It was easier for me to get an a in Math and Eng Lit than it was for Media. (AS level wise)
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    Yes, but then again I think English is a soft subject too.
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    My teacher for Media was talking about this today, actually - she said that a lot of the idea of it being soft might be that everyone has to encounter the media, they live with it all the time and can have an opinion on whatever they want. You can get anyone to answer a Media question, but it won't be a Media Studies answer.

    Example: Today we were doing a practice question, and the question was "Consider the view that press coverage of anorexia endorses the lifestyle to young people". Some of the people in the class didn't include any theorists and just made massive generalisations, and they got really low marks. You got marks for mentioning:
    The two sources we used in relation to the answer (a real-life story from a magazine, and an article in the Guardian)
    Stanley Cohen and the stages of a moral panic, construction of folk devils etc
    Audience analysis/theories (hypodermic syringe, uses and gratifications, demographics and psychographics)
    News values
    Challenging the "considered view" of the question (a LOT of people just decided to agree with the statement)
    General media analysis of the two texts - layout, choice of words, copy/image ratio, anchorage etc.

    If you pulled someone in off the street who'd never done any Media, they wouldn't include most of those things (but they don't really know what is expected, so it seems easy?). I think the practical element comes into it too, but I personally find practical tasks much harder than writing an essay. I worked my ass off collecting sources for my A2 critical investigation and it was damn fun to do because I got into it I couldn't get into Maths for the life of me.

    That might be another point, actually...I'm not sure, but I think a lot of people think we doss around watching films or music videos for a laugh or something. :dontknow:
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    It is statistically the easiest subject (highest average UMS), so if anything at A level is a "soft" subject then media studies surely is.
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    I started studying it at AS and we were all getting As on everything we did. It was crazy! It was such a breeze of a subject! Also, at GCSE there was a media component and we didn't have a single lesson on it. I think it's because a lot of it is just general knowledge. Most people came out with As in English Lang, so I think it does suggest that it isn't that hard. I don't know. I just don't think it applies real knowledge. Plus, you don't really look in significant detail at the form, structure, language and reasons behind the writing really in media... It skims over the top of things compared to English Lit. Plus, in English Lit you have to analyse tricky languages e.g. Shakespeare and Chaucer, where as anyone can analyse an article written by a left-wing journalist for example. Like I said, a lot of it is just common knowledge/sense. I quite liked media studies and I think that people should be allowed to take subjects that they enjoy without getting stick about them or having other people look down on those subjects. Everyone is good at different things and just because someone is terrible at maths and good at more creative things doesn't mean that they should be scrutinised by others for it. The thing about A levels is that none of them are actually hard, it's just the AMOUNT of content that is hard!
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    I think many people regard it as an easy subject is because so many people can get a good grade from it easily. Also, it's not a 'traditional' subject, like Maths and the Sciences. Universities tend to think Media does not show a good degree of academic ability, so people follow that and think it's a soft subject.
    But it doesn't matter if it's a soft subject or not. If it's what you want to do, then what people think about Media being a soft subject is irrelevant.
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    I did media studies at a level. I went to uni, and I'm now on a graduate scheme at one of the top consultancies in the world.

    Soft maybe..... but while you were slaving away over maths studies I made a short film, had a blast, and still got a good job

    Edit:

    I've also met people at work who have said to me totally straight faced "why did you do a pointless degree at uni" (i studied art history). My reply... I spent 4 years studying something I loved, and had 2 hours a week in my final year, while writing a relativley short dissertation, so pretty much had 6 weeks off... How long did you have? 24 hours a week for 3 years... and we got the same job... funny that. /end convo

    My point being, people are so willing to put you down for your choices when they don't conform to the decisions they have made, people don't understand it and think less of you for it, but there is no reason that you can't go on to be as good as you want to be at anything.
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    Media studies in my school is the subject that people want to study on the side of their 'real' subjects and most keep it on the back-burner!!!!And yes people who do take it do so as they are not exactly good in studies.
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    (Original post by oxy402)
    And yes people who do take it do so as they are not exactly good in studies.
    Wrong. You're not good at this are you? I took it because I liked it, not because I wasn't good in 'studies'.
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    (Original post by cfc1992)
    Wrong. You're not good at this are you? I took it because I liked it, not because I wasn't good in 'studies'.
    Well thats you then. The situation where i come from is slightly different.
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    It is, tbh. Media was hard for the first month, but after that it was piss easy. I got best in school in media without even trying. Probably didn't help that all the chavs did it, though.
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    Well of course how soft a subject is is relative (which is important to remember...one soft subject in a strong combination can enhance your knowledge of and enjoyment of other subjects); but if you look at the Cambridge list (which I found on tsr), it seems to fit with the other subjects.

    Didn't take media myself, and it looked interesting, but I don't think it can stand up to the quality of subjects such as English Literature, or other creative subjects such as Fine Art (which is also on the list...but I think most Art/Media students will agree that Art carries more weight than Media, or at least the ones in my art class did :giggle: ). Yes it looks interesting, and if you want to do it because you enjoy it, alongside more serious subjects such as English Lit. go ahead...but I do I reckon the soft subject label is going to stay around :dontknow:

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Respected_A_Levels specifically:

    The list below details the A level subjects that together provide a less effective preparation for our courses. To be a realistic applicant, a student will normally need to be offering two traditional academic subjects (ie two subjects not on this list). For example, Mathematics, History and Business Studies would be an acceptable combination of subjects for a number of our courses. However, History, Business Studies and Media Studies would not normally be considered to be acceptable as this combination contains only one subject not from the list below. Similarly, for students studying for the International Baccalaureate not more than one of the subjects listed should be taken at Higher Level to count as part of the Diploma (a separate list for IB subjects can be found on the website).


    * Accounting
    * Art and Design
    * Business Studies
    * Communication Studies
    * Dance
    * Design and Technology
    * Drama/Theatre Studies
    * Film Studies
    * Health and Social Care
    * Home Economics
    * Information and Communication Technology
    * Leisure Studies
    * Media Studies
    * Music Technology
    * Performance Studies
    * Performing Arts
    * Photography
    * Physical Education
    * Sports Studies
    * Travel and Tourism
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    (Original post by oxy402)
    Media studies in my school is the subject that people want to study on the side of their 'real' subjects and most keep it on the back-burner!!!!And yes people who do take it do so as they are not exactly good in studies.
    Not trying to be racist or anything here, but from my experience of the Pakistani education system, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on traditional "chalk and blackboard" teaching.

    Now, I have no idea what your school is like and am not generalising, just saying that from the people that I have met who have come through Pakistani educational facilities they all had a more "traditional" idea about education, which is not always right.

    You obviously have never taken Media Studies. You may not be the best in maths or economics if you take it, but so what. Completely different skill set. Does anyone care if Speilberg was good at Maths? He's an f'ing millionaire.
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    (Original post by bob247)
    I love looking at the little details, e.g how the colours in my advert will manipulate the audience.
    answer: any subject that involves choosing which pencil crayon to use next on your shiny new poster.. is a soft subject. :facepalm2:
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    Inclined to disagree with that statement..it really does require a lot of effort outside of class as well as specialist knowledge of media terms and time to dedicate to projects and coursework.

    I'm doing Media AS at the moment, though not enjoying it quite so much now we're doing music videos for coursework..my one actor refuses to be a part of it! I think that practical projects for coursework should have more thought put into it, as things like having your actors back out, or bad weather, can completely wreck your marks.
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    (Original post by banjow)
    answer: any subject that involves choosing which pencil crayon to use next on your shiny new poster.. is a soft subject. :facepalm2:
    All done through computers - Photoshop, another skill that is picked up

    Doubt you konw how the colour connotations of ads on this website were set up in an attempt to manipulate you.
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    unis dont like it.
    it is not prejudice, it is regular old judgment. i think cambridge might know a little more about what subjects are useful than you, OP.
    get over it, you picked a dossy subject.
 
 
 

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