Media Theory Revision Guide

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


Media terminology used

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.


Gilroy tells us that stereotyping excludes non-white groups from mainstream society, helping to define those groups as an 'other' to civilised norms and behaviours.

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