MEDIA THEORIESLO: To apply theories on the representations ofyouth, cultural identities and society to Harry Brown
GRAMSIC (1971) Cultural Hegemony: This is the idea that one social class (usually the middle class) is able to dominate a society by making their way of life and values appear normal, natural, and common sense. As a result other social classes accept these values as the normal way of life.
CULTURAL HEGEMONY The media uses cultural hegemony to fix the social classes. The working classes are somewhat trapped in an illusion that they will benefit from society staying the same. Media aim to distract individuals and promote the ideas of the ruling class. Can anyone think of any examples that promote or oppose this idea?
CULTURAL HEGEMONY CONT… Gramsci sees hegemony as a site of constant struggle as societies are constantly debating what is and isn‟t acceptable. You can relate this to this to more positive representations of working class youth which challenge the perception of working class as thugs.
CULTURAL HEGEMONY (GRAMSIC1971) ANDHARRY BROWN Cultural Hegemony: How can we apply this one social class theory to Harry Brown? dominate a society by Think about: making their values appear normal Todorov‟s theory of equilibrium, disequilibrium and equilibrium. Other social classes What else can we call accept these values as equilibrium? the normal What/who threatens this equilibrium? Media to promote the ideas of the ruling How does this fix social class. class outside of the film?
GIROUX (1997) Giroux argues that in media representations youth becomes an ‘empty category’ Media representations of young people are constructed by adults. Because of this they reflect adults concerns, anxieties, and needs. As a result of this media representations of young people do not necessarily reflect the reality of youth identity. Can you think of any examples of this?
EMPTY CATEGORY (GIROUX 1997)AND HARRY BROWN Youth becomes an How can we apply this ‘empty category’ theory to Harry Brown? Representations Think about: constructed by adults. Who constructed the text? Reflect adults concerns, Who it is aimed at? anxieties, and needs. Does the text reflect adult Representations do not anxieties or serve the necessarily reflect the purposes of adult society? (reinforcing hegemonic reality of youth identity. values).
ACLAND (1995) Media representations of delinquent youths actually reinforce hegemony. They do this by constructing an idea of „normal‟ adult and youth behaviour, and contrasting it with deviant youth behaviour which is shown to be unacceptable. Media representations of young people out of control allows the state to have more control of them (e.g. media reports about delinquent youths led to ASBOs). ‘Ideology of protection’ – the idea that young people need constant surveillance and monitoring. This happens because youth is the time when young people learn about social roles and values, and allows the state to make sure they conform to hegemonic values.
DEVIANT YOUTH (ACLAND 1995)AND HARRY BROWN Representations of delinquent Apply this theory to Harry youths reinforce hegemony. Brown. Think about: „Normal‟ adult and youth The extent to which the text shows young people as in behaviour, contrasted with need of control. deviant youth behaviour Does the text show young people as behaving in an Representations of young unacceptable way? people out of control allows the state to have more control If so does this identify what behaviour society thinks is acceptable? (i.e. hegemonic) Ideology of Protection: young How does the text show class people need constant youths to be deviant thus surveillance and monitoring. reinforcing middle class hegemony. State ensures that they conform to hegemonic values.
COHEN (1972) Societies appear to be subject, every now and then, to periods of moral panic A condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests Its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media The effect of a moral panic is to reassert hegemony by allowing a society to make clear what values it does not accept.
MORAL PANICS (COHEN 1972) Cohen first discussed this with regards to mods and rockers (very old stuff I know) However these days there are still morals panics with regards to youth. For example the idea of “chavs” and “hoodies” may be considered a moral panic. How would this theory explain this?
MORAL PANICS (COHEN 1972)AND HARRY BROWN Moral Panic: How can we apply this to Harry Brown? A person or group of persons become defined Think about: as a threat to societal values Who is creating the „Moral Panic‟? Presented in a stylized Is the panic justified? and stereotypical fashion Is the panic resolved? Reasserts hegemony by How? allowing society to define what values it does not accept.
MCROBBIE (2004) Contemporary British TV often contains ‘symbolic violence’ against the working class, These representations emphasise middle class dominance and depict the working class in very negative ways
SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE(MCROBBIE 2004)AND HARRY BROWN ‘Symbolic Violence’ How can we apply this against the working to Harry Brown? class emphasises middle class Think about: dominance Who is the protagonist and antagonist in the text? How are the issues in the text resolved?
GERBNER (1986) Gerbner studied the effect of television on people‟s perception of crime. He found that people who watched a lot of television tended to overestimate the levels of crime. He called this ‘mean world syndrome’ Because news reports, TV dramas, films, contain lots of representations of crime over time this influenced people‟s perceptions of the world. This is called ‘cultivation theory’ The repetitive pattern of television‟s mass-produced message and images influences people‟s understanding of the world
MEAN WORLD SYNDROME (GERBNER1986) AND HARRYBROWN Mean World Syndrome: How can we apply this to People exposed to large Harry Brown? amounts of media tend to overestimate the levels of Think about: crime. If this text supports or Cultivation Theory: opposes „mean world exposure to negative syndrome‟ representations influences peoples The message overall perception of the world contained in the text? If this message can be applied to „cultivation theory‟
APPLYING THEORYHOMEWORK Write up each of the theories we have covered in your own words. Gramsci (1971), Cultural Hegemony Giroux (1997), Empty Category Acland (1995), Deviant Youth, Ideology of Protection Cohen (1972), Moral Panic McRobbie (2004), Symbolic Violence Gerbner (1986), Mean World Syndrome, Cultivation Theory Apply these theories to the other texts we have studied Eden Lake Ill Manors Attack the Block
Support for HomeworkTheorist Year Concepts Your explanationGiroux 1997 Youth as „Empty Category‟Acland 1995 Deviant Youth, Ideology of protectionGramsci 1971 Cultural hegemonyCohen 1972 Moral PanicMcRobbie 2004 Symbolic ViolenceGerbner 1986 Mean World Syndrome, Cultivation Theory
ESSAY QUESTION: How are young people represented in contemporary media?LO: To write a plan for this essay using the texts we have studied.
ESSAY QUESTIONHow are young people represented incontemporary media? Introduction: Paragraph 2: Main Text State argument (link to Examples theory) Link to theory Identify texts Continue paragraphs as necessary… Paragraph 1: Main text Conclusion: Summary of key points in Examples P1, P2 etc… Link to theory Summary of overall argument
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