My top four video ‘hub sites’ – These sites are what I believe to be the best for finding up-to-date information about contemporary sociological video resources.
An excellent site for documentaries relevant to Sociology as well as just for general interest too. The site features mainly American and British documentaries, but there are also plenty from around the world too, all organised into useful categories such as ‘society’ and ‘economics’, with short summaries and embedded links to the videos if they are available online, which most are, although some have been removed due to copy right reasons, which can be frustrating. There are thousands of documentaries, all of which are hosted on other sites such as YouTube or Google video, but what makes this site so useful is the categorisation system – you can browse very easily by category
2 – The Sociological Cinema – Teaching and Learning Sociology through Video
This site is designed to help sociology instructors incorporate videos into their classes. I t does have a somewhat American focus, but it is still very useable for many topics in Britain, most obviously if you teach global development
Each post consists of a brief summary of the relevant film or documentary and, if available a link to the film or short excerpt. Many of the entries are, in fact, short excerpts, which are fine for teaching many issues.
To give you an example of how up to date and potentially useful the site is – check out their globalisation category: there are about a dozen entries from 2012 alone.
3 – TED Talks
TED stands for Technology, Education and Design, and some of these talks are ‘jaw dropping’ – which is actually one of the categories you can search via. Although the subject material ranges far beyond the scope of Sociology, there is much of Sociological relevance here – to find talks on specific topics use this tag page. They also have playlists – but many of these are just celebrities pointing to their ‘favourite talks’ so these lists probably won’t be that useful to most people.
4. – RSA Videos (Royal Sociological Association Videos)
Videos here are organised into three basic categories – Lectures/ discussions, RSA shorts (although these are a bit thin) and the excellent RSA animate videos which introduce fairly complex topics in 10 minute animations.
I really like the simplicity of the mission of the RSA – Which is to continually reinvent the Enlightenment project for the 21st century through developing and promoting new ways of thinking about human fulfilment and social progress. OK the site isn’t really for your average A level student, but the RSA is ‘real sociology’ as far as I’m concerned – It cuts across disciplines – looking at politics, society, economics and psychology, and if you ever need an example of a reflexive organisation – look no further than the RSA! Oh, it’s also British, so this biases the RSA up the rankings too. The RSA also has a YouTube channel where you can access the videos