Critical perspectives in the media sec b

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Critical perspectives in the media sec b

  1. 1. Critical perspectives in the media Some key theorists: David Gauntlett–the role of media in self-identity Judith Butler- ‘gender and sex are socially constructed’ Roland Barthes- semiotics, how meaning is created C R Acland- ‘media representations of youth maintain social order/ hegemony’ You must engage a discussion about contemporary examples for the majority of the essay In order to do this you must move from the macro to the micro. By this, I mean that you must acknowledge the wider, social implications of how certain groups are represented in the media and use SPECIFIC examples to illustrate you point. REMEMBER: you can only apply the theory to a media text, not the other way around. For example, Roland Barthes applies his own theory to a specific media text. He theorized that mythologies are formed to perpetuate an idea of society that adheres to the current ideologies of the ruling class and its media. He uses this image of Paris Match magazine to illustrate his argument. Note: this is a very old magazine cover and has a different cultural meaning than it would do today. In short, Barthes argues that the young man depicted here is a signifier who has been chosen by the magazine editor to be on the front cover. What is signified is that France is a great multi-cultural nation. He argues that ‘the picture does not explicitly demonstrate 'that France is a great empire’ but the combination of the signifier and signified perpetuates the myth of imperial devotion, success and thus; a property of 'significance' for the picture. When you are researching, you must bear in mind that media representations often reflect the dominant ideology of the society in which they are created All media texts are mediated! Everything you see in all types of media is carefully selected and constructed in order to create meaning In order to answer this part of the exam successfully, you must present an argument and an alternative argument with particular focus on how groups of people engage in a collective identity through the media.
  2. 2. Questions to consider: How do people give meaning to particular kinds of media in relation to their identities? How do dominant representations inform identity?- does the media reflect society or does society reflect the media? How might the intended audience and institutional characteristics determine the re-presentation of the collective?

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