G325 a media theory and theorists_sectiona-Presentation Transcript
Media Theory and Theorists for G325 Section A: Examining your own productions A2 Revision Session
G325ai – Skills and Processes (Hands)
Theory not needed, only if it crops up
G325aii – Concepts (Head)
Must use media theory/ theorists
I have split them by area of relevance: Genre/ Narrative/ Representation/ Audience/ Media Language
What do you need to be able to do with theorists and theories?
You do NOT need to:
Learn a load of quotes
Explain their theories in great depth
Know them all
You DO need to:
Use a few
Be able to apply them to your work/ case studies
Consider how useful/ not useful they are when discussing your work/ case studies
How to use theorists…
Assume your reader knows about the theory/ theorist.
Don’t explain the theory; use it.
A Todorovian analysis would argue…
Mulvey’s notion of the Male Gaze provides a useful way of understanding the video in that…
Kate Wales statement that “Genre is... an intertextual concept” could be useful here because…
YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW ALL OF THESE THEORISTS. THIS IS MORE OF A MENU OF THEORISTS YOU MIGHT USE, NOT A LIST OF THOSE THAT YOU MUST USE.
JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE IN THIS POWERPOINT DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD HAVE COVERED THEM, OR EVEN THAT ANY OTHER A LEVEL MEDIA STUDENTS WILL HAVE COVERED THEM
I HAVE PUT THIS IN CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE I AM SHOUTING IT AT YOUR BRAIN
Some theorists you MIGHT be able to use
Gunther Kress Genre is “a kind of text that derives its form from the structure of a (frequently repeated) social occasion, with its characteristic participants and their purposes.”
Denis McQuail “The genre may be considered as a practical device for helping any mass medium to produce consistently and efficiently and to relate its production to the expectations of its customers.”
Nicholas Abercrombie “Television producers set out to exploit genre conventions... It... makes sound economic sense. Sets, properties and costumes can be used over and over again. Teams of stars, writers, directors and technicians can be built up, giving economies of scale”
Christine Gledhill “Differences between genres meant different audiences could be identified and catered to... This made it easier to standardise and stabilise production”
Katie Wales “Genre is... an intertextual concept”
John Fiske “A representation of a car chase only makes sense in relation to all the others we have seen - after all, we are unlikely to have experienced one in reality, and if we did, we would, according to this model, make sense of it by turning it into another text, which we would also understand intertextually, in terms of what we have seen so often on our screens. There is then a cultural knowledge of the concept 'car chase' that any one text is a prospectus for, and that it used by the viewer to decode it, and by the producer to encode it.”
Genres change and evolve:
Christian Metz - Stages of genres: Experimental/ Classic/ Parody/ Deconstruction
David Buckingham - “Genre is not simply given by the culture, rather, it is in a constant process of negotiation and change.”
Tzetvan Todorov – Argues that narratives always have a structure of Equilibrium/ Disequilibrium/ New equilibrium
Story versus plot
Claude Levi-Strauss – Argues that human cultural understanding is based upon a system of binary oppposites (good/ bad; black/ white; male/ female…). Narratologists have taken this theory and applied it to narrative, arguing that binary opposition forms a fundamental way of understanding narrative.
Roland Barthes : Enigma code; Action code. Also, Open and Closed texts.
Vladimir Propp – argued that narratives always have certain character types who perform certain actions. Characters are agents of action.
Pam Cook argues that the Hollywood narrative structure includes: “linearity of cause and effect within an overall trajectory of enigma resolution” and “a high degree of narrative closure”
Laura Mulvey – argues that cinema positions the audience as male. The camera gazes at the female object on screen. It also frames the male character watching the female.
We watch the girl; we see the male watching the girl; we position ourselves within the text as a male objectively gazing at the female.
Can be applied to other media forms also.
Hegemony (dominant ideology)
Anyone from the Collective Identity powerpoint
Stuart Hall : Encoding and Decoding; Preferred/ negotiated/ oppositional readings
Denis McQuail – Uses and Gratification theory (audiences consume media texts for Suveillance; Personal Identity; Presnal Relationships; Escapism/ Diversion.
Ien Ang - “Audiencehood is becoming an even more multifaceted, fragmented and diversified repertoire of practices and experiences.”