Representation refers to the construction in any medium (especially the mass media) of aspects of ‘reality’ such as people, places, objects, events, cultural identities and other abstract concepts . Such representations may be in speech or writing as well as still or moving pictures.
The term refers to the processes involved as well as to its products. For instance, in relation to the key markers of identity - Class, Age, Gender and Ethnicity (the 'cage' of identity) - representation involves not only how identities are represented (or rather constructed) within the text but also how they are constructed in the processes of production and reception by people whose identities are also differentially marked in relation to such demographic factors. Consider, for instance, the issue of 'the gaze'. How do men look at images of women, women at men, men at men and women at women?
“ Semiotics and content analysis are the main methods of formal analysis of representation.
Semiotics foregrounds the process of representation.
Reality is always represented - what we treat as 'direct' experience is 'mediated' by perceptual codes. Representation always involves 'the construction of reality'.
All texts, however 'realistic' they may seem to be, are constructed representations rather than simply transparent 'reflections', recordings, transcriptions or reproductions of a pre-existing reality.
Representations which become familiar through constant re-use come to feel 'natural' and unmediated.
Representations require interpretation - we make modality judgements about them.
Representation is unavoidably selective, making some things prominent and backgrounding others.
Realists focus on the 'correspondence' of representations to 'objective' reality (in terms of 'truth', 'accuracy' and 'distortion'), whereas constructivists focus on whose realities are being represented and whose are being denied.
Both structuralist and poststructuralist theories lead to 'reality' and 'truth' being regarded as the products of particular systems of representation - every representation is motivated and historically contingent.”
Gender- Judith Butler, Laura Mulvey, Angela McRobbie, David Gauntlet.
“ However, in Media, Gender and Identity, David Gauntlet notes that, "During the 1990s, Angela McRobbie (re-)emerged as arguably the most thoughtful and sophisticated commentator on magazines for young women. She has paid close attention to the ways in which the magazines have changed since the 1970s, and has repeatedly asked difficult questions about what kind of magazine feminists would want, if they are unhappy with today's magazines ”
“ Queer theory is a field of critical theory that emerged in the early 1990s out of the fields of LGBT studies and feminist studies. It is a kind of interpretation devoted to queer readings of texts. Heavily influenced by the work of Eve Kosofsk Sedgwickand Judith Butler, queer theory builds both upon feminist challenges to the idea that gender is part of the essential self and upon gay/lesbian studies' close examination of the socially constructed nature of sexual acts and identities. Whereas gay/lesbian studies focused its inquiries into "natural" and "unnatural" behavior with respect to homosexual behavior, queer theory expands its focus to encompass any kind of sexual activity or identity that falls into normative and deviant categories .”
Edward Said is most famous for describing and critiquing "Orientalism", which he perceived as a constellation of false assumptions underlying Western attitudes toward the East. In his most famous book, Orientalism (1978), Said claimed a "subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arabo-Islamic peoples and their culture.
Hebdidge argues that punk emerged as a mainly white style when Black youth became more separatist in the 1970s in response to discrimination in British society. Whereas previous research described a homology between the different aspects of a subcultural style (dress, hairstyle, music, drugs), Hebdidge argues that punk in London in 1976-77 borrowed from all previous subcultures and its only homology was chaos.