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In this programme, Dr. Tony Bates, of the Institute of Educational Technology, discusses the role of television in the Social Sciences course Patterns of Inequality. He argues that, whilst much of ...the television material in this course resembles documentary style programmes, with which students are already familiar, in fact the programmes are less packaged than is normally the case and therefore require a positive contribution by the student to maximise the usefulness of this resource. Dr. Bates also illustrates some of the problems inherent in viewing television, which might lead students to place a wrong emphasis on television material. Mention is made of the over-glamorising effect of colour and of the impact of the presence of television cameras on those who participate in programmes. On the positive side, Dr. Bates talks of the wealth of information that can be portrayed by television, and of the fact that vision and sound can tell two different, but complementary stories. Television is able to present a view of reality which enables students to analyse the views and values of performers, in the context of the environment in which those values are normally formed. For students, television is an especially useful tool, because unlike the written word, it tends not to be analytic in the sense that it separates concepts and treats them individually. To illustrate the points made in this programme, Dr. Bates makes frequent reference to TV Programme 1 of the course, A Woman's Work. In so doing, he uses material with which students are already familiar and have already used in their previous work. Old style documentary film is also used to illustrate the ways in which perceptions of inequality are subject to change as society's values alter with the passage of time. He points to the fact that all programmes necessitate a degree of selectivity, and students should be aware of this when analysing material.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D302, Patterns of inequality
Item code: D302; 02
First transmission date: 09-03-1976
Published: 1976
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:09
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Producer: Roger Penfound
Contributor: Tony Bates
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Inequality; Television; Visual literacy
Footage description: Bates introduces the programme, describing its objective. He begins by discussing the concept of perception which can vary by varying the backdrop, which is done. He looks at some of the techniques used in TV1 to portray the evidence - such as use of sound and picture, lengthy shots etc. to convey a particular impression. Bates plays some archive film to show how different effects produce different impressions of women at work. He points out how careful observation can reveal emotion - again using clips from TV1. He also advises students to query their own reactions. Bates moves on to look at face-to-face interviews. He shows the original interview from TV1 with a film camera man which was reshot. Specifically Bates analyses how ideology is revealed in TV1. He compares part of that programme with some archive film from 1940 encouraging women at work. Using more extracts from TV1 Bates points out the problems of looking for values, the use of leading or unheard questions and how students must be critical of the programmes. Bates sums up, adding some points on the advantages that television offers, and stressing the importance of the course broadcast notes. He closes by showing a clip from TV1 in its actual entirety. Credits.
Master spool number: 6HT/71984
Production number: 00525_2277
Videofinder number: 182
Available to public: no