This simple activity, culled once more from the ATSS archive, has a dual purpose in terms of helping students:

1.     Develop a critical and sociological understanding of “news” and how it is socially constructed and presented.

2.     Interpret and apply sociological knowledge to real social situations.

The activity requires no great preparation and involves students examining a story currently in the news from a sociological perspective. Stories can be chosen individually by you or your students or you can assign the class the same story. The objective here is to encourage students to:

  • identify the underlying assumptions and perspectives used to frame and present “news”.
  • explore alternative sociological explanations and evidence.

  • While the “news angle” is a bonus for those studying media, this is an exercise that can be used from time to time to help students sharpen and apply their sociological knowledge and understanding right across the a-level specification.

    If, for example, students are studying crime and deviance, stories relating to this area can be used to examine alternative sociological explanations.

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