Media Theory Revision Guide

All A level theorists covered alongside revision summaries and exam practise exercises.




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Absent representations in Riptide

bell hooks

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Riptide’s playful use of intertextuality points an accusatory finger at the media for its routine objectification of women. Certainly, the microphone lady scene suggests something of the degrading effects that conventional female stardom can construct. 

However, the video’s complete absence of non-white characters is hugely problematic, potentially reinforcing Western beauty standards as white-centric. bell hooks might argue that the exclusion of non-white women from the video helps to nurture feminism as a white centric issue, marginalising the problematic treatment of black and Asian women in the media and in wider society.

Under representation

The absence of key social groups within media products. hooks, argues for example, that black women are absent from media products as a result of their economic and social powerlessness.

Media terminology used

White male privilege

The idea that white males occupy a position of social power, an elite status that is ingrained within society as a result of longstanding historical and economic forces.


The referencing of another media text within a media product. Intertextuality rewards knowing audiences or can be used to provoke a nostalgic response.

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