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  • 1. SECTION A: THEORETICAL EVALUATION OF PRODUCTION Question 1(b) requires you to select one production and evaluate it in relation to a media concept. The list of concepts to which questions will relate is as follows: Genre  Narrative  Representation  Audience  Media Language
  • 2. IN THE EXAMINATION, QUESTIONS WILL BE SET USING ONE OF THESE CONCEPTS ONLY. In some circumstances, you will be expected to select the production that appears to relate most effectively to the specific concept that arises in the exam question. However, the requirement for candidates to evaluate one of their productions in relation to a concept does not assume that the concept will necessarily always fit easily and in an orthodox way. Thus in some cases candidates will be describing their productions in terms of them not relating straightforwardly to the concept.
  • 3. Whether you applied the concept to the product or use the production to challenge the concept, it is essential that you are sufficiently knowledgeable about the concept for either approach. You may choose to write about work undertaken at AS or A2, main task or preliminary/ancillary.
  • 4. SECTION A: THEORETICAL EVALUATION OF PRODUCTION For Question 1(b) you will have to choose one of their productions, either the AS production, the A2 main task, or any of the two ancillary tasks. The question will focus on only one of the following: Genre Narrative Representation Audience Media language
  • 5. THEORISTS 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
  • 6. HOW TO USE THEORISTS •Quote •Summarise •Comment 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…
  • 7. GENRE What genre is the production? What are the codes and conventions of the production? How is the genre established in the candidates production? How does the mise-en-scène support the genre? What is the role of the specific elements of the mise-en-scène? Refer to props, costume, makeup, location, theme etc. What themes have been used? Have generic conventions been adhered to or subverted? How will the generic elements of production appeal to the audience? Narrative -
  • 8. GENRE 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”
  • 9. MORE GENRE - THEORISTS FOR POSSIBLE USE 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.” Andrew Goodwin 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.”
  • 10. NARRATIVE STRUCTURE What is the narrative structure of the product? How do the specific elements of the production relate to the narrative structure? Does the production adhere to, or subvert, narrative conventions? How does the narrative support the establishment of the chosen genre of the production? How have narrative techniques been used to appeal to the audience? Refer to Todorov, Propp, Levi-Strauss, Barthes‟ Enigma Code, multi-strand, restricted, unrestricted, non-linear etc.
  • 11. NARRATIVE THEORISTS – POSSIBLE USE 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”
  • 12. REPRESENTATION Representation theory – Dyer, Mulvey, Perkins etc. Identify characters, events or issues within the production to discuss. What representational concepts are highlighted? (i.e. race, gender, cultural attitudes etc.) What representations have been generated? Discuss the specific elements of character representation, i.e. modes of address, facial expression, costume, behaviour etc. Have any stereotypical representations been generated? Does the production conform to, or subvert, any dominant ideologies?
  • 13. REPRESENTATION THEORISTS 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)
  • 14. MORE REPRESENTATION THEORISTS David Gauntlett – “Identities are not „given‟ but are constructed and negotiated” See later slide for more Jacques Lacan - The mirror stage Michel Maffesoli - “The Time of Tribes Mikhail Bakhtin - “the unfinalised self” individual people cannot be finalised, completely understood, known, or labelled. Many icons of the postmodern age change and adapt their identity and consequently can be seen in these terms: Lady Gaga, Madonna and Marilyn Manson are all examples. Judith Butler - Gender is what you do, not what you are.
  • 15. MAGAZINE AND GENDER THEORISTS Marjorie Ferguson  “The cult of femininity”; “consciously cultivated female bond” Angela McRobbie  “a kind of false sisterhood that assumes a common definition of womanhood or girlhood” Janice Winship  “The gaze between cover model and women readers marks the complicity between women seeing themselves in the image masculine culture has defined.”  “a magazine is like a club. Its first function is to provide readers with a comfortable sense of community and pride in their identity”
  • 16. MORE … Paul Messaris  “Female models addressed to women… appear to imply a male point of view.” Judith Butler David Gauntlett:  "These [male] magazines are all about the social construction of masculinity. That is, if you like, their subject-matter."  http://www.theory.org.uk/gay-id.htm  http://theoryhead.com/gender/discuss.htm  http://theoryhead.com/gender/extract.htm
  • 17. AUDIENCE THEORISTS 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.”
  • 18. MEDIA LANGAUAGE Any of the theorists from the previous slides!!

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