ND Media - Pt 2 Represntation And Genre Worksheet

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ND Media - Pt 2 Represntation And Genre Worksheet

  1. 1. FACULTY OF CREATIVE, CULTURAL & ACADEMIC STUDIES vocational BTEC National Diploma in Media Advertising pt 2 – week 34 Analyse representation and genre Unit 5.4 – Be able to develop responses to media products. Apply textual analysis to own and other products with emphasis on genre and narrative All media texts tell a kind of story and narrative is the way of organizing this process of telling stories – how these stories are shaped, structured and then potentially decoded and understood. As most plots have a similar structure they can be analyzed easily. Advertising often has a simple before and after structure “before using the product I was like this, now I am like this!” Often the key elements of adverts narrative have become deliberately ambiguous or self-referential or ironic or parodying other media products. These are all indicators of a postmodern media product. It is said that we live in postmodern times because everything that we say or think has already been said or thought! This could well be true if we apply it to media products and maybe why so many products are crossing genres in order to try and be new and exciting. What is certainly true is that audiences learn about the codes and conventions of a genre through familiarity and that is how they understand texts and decode them correctly. Essentially we can see what are the common patterns within a genre and choose to use them or not in our own products. If each genre has its dominant codes and conventions then they must all represent things and people in certain recognizable and repeated ways. This process of representation (or re-presenting of something) helps to keep ideology in place. Ideology is a set of ideas or beliefs about something. Media texts may help to legitimize or make normal certain beliefs and ideas about something through the way they represent something. For example; an advert for shower gel that shows a strong powerful male successfully pulling a more passive female helps to legitimize the ideological belief that men need to be strong and women weaker. Or, an advert for car insurance showing a young person having a near accident with an old person may help legitimize the ideological belief that older people have less of a place within society. As you can see, advertising could be full of these representations because sometimes its simply easier to work within the typical genre conventions than
  2. 2. to try and break the mould. One way of staying within the mould is to use stereotypes which is just an over simplified representation of a particular group or people. Its easy to use stereotypes but harder to break them! Finally it must be remembered that audiences are generally though of as active and sophisticated. We are good at recognizing the codes of genres and we begin to anticipate them. This is pleasure of the text; there is, for the audience, creation of tension in trying to anticipate what is going to happen followed by pleasure of getting it right or sometimes pleasant surprise at getting it wrong (particularly in postmodern times when we think we have seen it all!). We know things are going to happen like they do because it’s a convention of that particular narrative or genre. TASKS 1. Using at least one of the adverts provided you must correctly and substantially describe the codes and conventions of the genre. You will explore any narrative present paying particular attention to issues of representation (class, age, gender, race etc) and how that may tie into societies wider held beliefs, or ideologies. 2. Using your own advertising product contrasted against one other (you may use the same one and some of the analysis completed from task 1) you will compare and contrast the two products. You will identify how each piece works the genre and how this may help the audience to respond to it. For a really good grade you will be justifying your analysis with examples from other products and will show evidence of further learning and linking of representational issues to ongoing arguments within society

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