Key concepts
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Key concepts Key concepts Presentation Transcript

  • Key ConceptsMedia
  • Genre
    A text is classified in a genre through the identification of key elements which occur in that text and in others of the same genre. These elements may be referred to as paradigms, and range from costume to music to plot points to font. Audiences recognise these paradigms, and bring a set of expectations to their reading of the text accordingly: the criminal will be brought to justice at the end of the police thriller.
    These paradigms may be grouped into those relating to iconography (i.e. the main signs and symbols that you see/hear), structure (the way a text is put together and the shape it takes) and theme (the issues and ideas it deals with).
    Audience: Select text based on genre/Have systems of expectations/identify with repetition and may shape their own identity
    Producers: Market texts according to genre/Standardise production practice according to genre conventions, which cuts costs
    Genre can provide structure and form which can allow a great deal of creativity and virtuosity, especially when a genuine reworking of generic conventions comes along
    Genre provides key elements for an audience to recognise, so that they may further appreciate the variation and originality surrounding the representation of those elements.
  • Narrative
    In media terms, narrative is the coherence/organisation given to a series of facts. The human mind needs narrative to make sense of things. We connect events and make interpretations based on those connections. In everything we seek a beginning, a middle and an end. We understand and construct meaning using our experience of reality and of previous texts.
    Media Text : Successful stories require actions which change the lives of the characters in the story. They also contain some sort of resolution, where that change is registered, and which creates a new balance for the characters involved. Remember that narratives are not just those we encounter in fiction. Even news stories, advertisements and documentaries also have a constructed narrative which must be interpreted.
    When unpacking a narrative in order to find its meaning, there are a series of codes and conventions that need to be considered. When we look at a narrative we examine the conventions of :Genre/Character/Form/Time
    Narrative Structure
    There are many different ways of breaking down narrative structures:
    • Todorov, suggests narrative is simply equilibrium, disequilibrium and new equilibrium
    • Propp,  suggests characters and actions
    • Levi-Strauss, suggests constant creation of conflict/opposition propels narrative. Narrative can only end on a resolution of conflict. opposition can be visual or conceptual. Binary Oppositions
  • Representation
    All media texts are re-presentations of reality. This means that they are intentionally composed, lit, written, framed, cropped, captioned, branded, targeted and censored by their producers, and that they are entirely artificial versions of the reality we perceive around us
    When studying the media it is vital to remember this - every media form, from a home video to a glossy magazine, is a representation of someone's concept of existence, codified into a series of signs and symbols which can be read by an audience. However, it is important to note that without the media, our perception of reality would be very limited, and that we, as an audience, need these artificial texts to mediate our view of the world, in other words we need the media to make sense of reality
    When studying the media it is vital to remember this - every media form, from a home video to a glossy magazine, is a representation of someone's concept of existence, codified into a series of signs and symbols which can be read by an audience. it is also important to note that without the media, our perception of reality would be very limited, and that we, as an audience, need these artificial texts to mediate our view of the world, in other words we need the media to make sense of reality.
    The study of representation is about decoding the different layers of truth/fiction/whatever. In order to fully appreciate the part representation plays in a media text you must consider:
    Who produced it?
    What/who is represented in the text?
    How is that thing represented?
    Why was this particular representation (this shot, framed from this angle, this story phrased in these terms, etc) selected, and what might the alternatives have been?
    What frame of reference does the audience use when understanding the representation?
  • Audience
    Audience theory provides a starting point for many Media Studies tasks. Whether you are constructing a text or analysing one, you will need to consider the target audience and how that audience will respond to that text.
    Hypodermic Needle Model: This theory suggests that, as an audience, we are manipulated by the creators of media texts, and that our behaviour and thinking might be easily changed by media-makers. It assumes that the audience are passive and heterogenous. This theory is still quoted during moral panics by parents, politicians and pressure groups, and is used to explain why certain groups in society should not be exposed to certain media text, for fear that they will watch or read sexual or violent behaviour and will then act them out themselves.
    The Two Step Flow: The information does not flow directly from the text into the minds of its audience unmediated but is filtered through "opinion leaders" who then communicate it to their less active associates, over whom they have influence. The audience then mediate the information received directly from the media with the ideas and thoughts expressed by the opinion leaders, thus being influenced not by a direct process, but by a two step flow. This diminished the power of the media in the eyes of researchers, and caused them to conclude that social factors were also important in the way in which audiences interpreted texts. This is sometimes referred to as the limited effects paradigm.
    Uses & Gratifications: During the 1960s, as the first generation to grow up with television became grown ups, it became increasingly apparent to media theorists that audiences made choices about what they did when consuming texts. Far from being a passive mass, audiences were made up of individuals who actively consumed texts for different reasons and in different ways. In 1948 Lasswell suggested that media texts had the following functions for individuals and society: surveillance/correlation/entertainment/cultural transmission