Explore the ways in which your chosen texts reinforce or challenge typical representations
...remember that this question could also be about:
Ethnicity or Nationality or Age or Issues
However, This is England has lots of different representational issues and if you’re
theory knowledge and your notes on the film are good then you should be absolutely
Things to write about...
Things to consider...
• Appearance, dress codes, cultural signifiers
• Characters, attitudes, dialogue
• Stereotypical, traditional, challenging representations
• Theoretical perspectives e.g. Gauntlett, Lacey, Mulvey etc
The obvious representation is of race and racism – however there is only one main black
character and one Asian character; both are represented in a sympathetic way but have minor
roles comparatively (Milky is a more rounded character than the shopkeeper). The film
obviously rejects racist ideologies as characters that share these beliefs are punished by the
end of the film.
Youth is a key representation in the movie – Shaun is at an impressionable and difficult age.
There never seems to be any adults around – his mum is very young and Combo is immature. The
narrative of this film seems to really be about the ‘journey’ that a boy takes from innocent
childhood to painful adolescence.
It would be possible to argue that this film is as much about masculinity as it is racism. Woody
and Combo become role models and father figures in Shaun’s life – but compare and contrast
how the two are juxtaposed. Also discuss how the main female characters in the movie, Lol and
Shaun’s mum are sensible and sympathetic – there’s absolutely tonnes to write about gender!
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