•To reinforce basic representation
•To have a basic understanding of
how to evaluate your coursework
against key representation theory
• How the media shows us things about societybut this is through careful mediation. Hence
• For representation to be meaningful to
audiences there needs to be a shared
recognition of people, situations, ideas...
• All representations therefore have ideologies
behind them. Certain ideologies are ENCODED
into the text.
Richard Dyer (1983) posed a few questions
when analysing media representations
1. What does the representation imply? Is it
typical or does it challenge the dominant
2. What does it represent to us and why? How
do we respond to the representation?
What do these images represent to us?
To be British.....
To be attractive.....
To be young.....
For this question you need to know
1. Ideology (who’s point of view) KARL MARX
2. Feminism (Mulvey, Gauntlett)
3. Stereotypes- most of you can analyse AGE or
Gender in your music video can you not?
What does Ideology mean?
Ideology: a set of ideas, values, tastes and/or beliefs
expounded by a particular social
group, organisation, religion or culture.
The dominant (hegemonic) view/ social group are
white middle class (mostly male) adults.
The hegemonic ideology of eg youth is that they are all
(As we see represented in the media....who is giving
these views? White, M/C, predominantly male)
This idea has origins in Marxist theory
Karl Marx: Believes that there is a “ top down
false consciousness” which suggests that
ideology is imposed “from above” by elite
powers upon the unknowing masses.
The ruling capitalist class are able to
Protect their economic interests.
REPRESENTATIONS are encoded into mass
media texts in order to reinforce
Eg about women, Muslims, youth...etc
In Marxist terms, the media’s role may be seen
as circulating and reinforcing dominant
ideologies and (less frequently) undermining
and challenging such ideologies.
Gender and ideology (feminism)
• Masculinity and femininity are socially
• Judith Butler argues that we all put on a
gender performance whether traditional
(heterosexual) or not.
• There are many artists who seek to construct
particular gender identities in order to present
particular ideologies to the audience
The male gaze
• She argues that audiences look at a text in two ways: voyeuristically
• To be a voyeur means to look at something/ somebody without
• If we look at something we are objectifying them (as if they are an
• This creates a narcissistic identification with an ideal image seen on
• This voyeurism involves turning the represented figure into a fetish
(object) so that it becomes increasingly beautiful but more
• Female stars are glamorous and attractive but considered as objects
and subservient (natasha bedingfield)
David Gauntlett argues that in contemporary
society, gender roles are more complex and that
the media reflects this.
Female role models are often glamorous and
This is due to the rise of ‘girl power’ in the media
(eg Destiny’s Child (bills bills bills)
Our expectations of gender are flexible and
culturally dependent and therefore will continue
• A way of labelling/ categorising people
• For stereotypes to work they need audience
• Which stereotypes have you used in your
Representation and identity
Gauntlett (2002)‘Identities are not ‘given’ but
are constructed and negotiated’
How have you constructed identities in your
Do they conform to or challenge the dominant
A possible question representation
“Representations in media texts are often
simplistic and reinforce dominant ideologies
so that audiences can make sense of them.”
Evaluate the ways that you have used/
challenged simplistic representations in one of
your media products.
A suggested plan
1. Which coursework are you going to evaluate
and for what purpose?
2. What is representation? What does it mean?
Brief outline of theories you will apply.
3. Analysis of gender/ age/ ethnicity in your
music vide/ digipak/ advert. How have you
conformed to dominant ideologies and how
have you challenged dominant ideologies.