Media Theory Revision Guide

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





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Kiss of the Vampire

Absent representations


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At first glance it is difficult to perceive how the Kiss of the Vampire film poster offers any message regarding ethnicity, however the lack of non-white representations in the poster is highly revealing. Gilroy argues that black communities in particular were marginalised within popular culture as a result of the anxieties surrounding immigration during the 1960’s - certainly the lack of any black presence in this poster reaffirms the marginal position of black communities in mainstream society during the period. 

The absence of black representation, in this sense, reinforces what Gilroy outlines as society’s unwritten racial hierarchy. Moreover, the ‘otherness’ of such groups is also suggested through their absence - an absence that legitimises the wider social exclusion of non-whites from everyday life.

Racial hierarchies

A term used by hooks to describe the status and power of different ethnic groups within society. hooks argues that white masculinity dominates Western social hierarchies with white females and black males beneath them. hooks tells us that black females assume the least powerful positions in society.

Media terminology used

Under representation

The absence of key social groups within media products. Hooks argues that black women are largely absent from the media because they exist at the bottom of society's racial hierarchy.


Gilroy suggests that media stereotyping helps to exclude some groups from mainstream society - making them 'others' to those traits or behaviours that are seen as socially acceptable or considered normal.

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Media Theory for A Level
The Essential Revision Guide