G325 – Hints, tips and past questions. Make sure you read this before the exam.
'Umbrella' topics: - How does contemporary representation compare to previous time periods? - To what extent is human identity increasingly mediated? - How do the contemporary media represent youth and youth culture in different ways?
TO SECURE A LEVEL 4 ANSWER: There are no hard and fast rules, but the examiners' report on the June 2010 exam gives some tips: You MUST include references or quotations on: * representation * key theories such as Marxism (for example) * ideology * hegemony and make your connections between examples and theoretical context explicit and sustained. You must be able to set at least two different approaches against each other, for example feminist and Marxist.
Examiners' tips: In the report on the January 2010 exam, the examiners said that, in the Media and Collective Identity essay, "candidates were able to utilise the ideas of Gauntlett on identity along with Judith Butler and a range of others very well in relation to film and magazines". So you need to prepare some quotations and be able to discuss the ideas from these theorists in relation to your topic, the representation of women in the media. The report also says, "Most pleasing was the ability of some candidates to take highly contemporary examples - eg the music of Dizzee Rascal and discuss them in theoretical contexts such as hegemony, democracy and representation and, again through Gauntlett, negotiate 'self-help' gender representation. A key piece of advice is to move away from generalised ideas of how 'the media' represent people and ideas and towards more 'micro' level discussions of how people give meaning to particular kinds of media in relation to their identities.
WHAT DO THE KEY TERMS ACTUALLY MEAN? <ul><li>Representation - is the construction in any medium (especially mass media) of aspects of reality, such as people, places, objects, events, cultural identities and other abstracts concepts. For more detail, see the Media Knowall <http://www.mediaknowall.com/as_alevel/alevkeyconcepts/alevelkeycon.php?pageID=ideology> website. </li></ul><ul><li>Ideology - for the purposes of Media Studies is, put simply, the ideas behind a media text. In any society, there is an agreed set of beliefs that underpins that society. For example, the moral values of Christianity that underpin much of the British society even today. </li></ul><ul><li>Hegemony - the accepted and agreed beliefs in any particular society. For example, you could say that football has hegemonic status in the UK: you won't see coverage of any other sport in the same depth; everyone is expected to understand and accept its national importance. </li></ul>
What you are getting marks for: <ul><li>- Explanation/analysis/argument - 20 </li></ul><ul><li>- Use of examples - 20 </li></ul><ul><li>- Use of terminology - 10 </li></ul><ul><li>NB: YOU MUST TALK ABOUT AUDIENCE AND INSTITUTION AS WELL AS REPRESENTATION. HOW INSTITUTIONS CONSTRUCT TEXTS AND AUDIENCES AND HOW AUDIENCES RESPOND. </li></ul>
Specimen questions: <ul><li>- Discuss the contemporary representation of youth and youth culture using specific textual examples from at least two media to support your answer. </li></ul><ul><li>- How far does the representation of a particular social group change over time? Refer to at least two media in your answer </li></ul>
Jan 2010: <ul><li>Analyse the ways in which the media represent one group of people that you have studied. </li></ul><ul><li>"The media do not construct collective identity; they merely reflect it." Discuss. </li></ul>
June 2010: <ul><li>With reference to any one group of people that you have studied, discuss how their identity has been 'mediated'. </li></ul><ul><li>"Media representations are complex, not simple and straighforward". How far do you agree with this statement in relation to the collective group that you have studied. </li></ul>
January 2011: <ul><li>Analyse the ways in which the media represent groups of people. </li></ul><ul><li>What is collective identity and how is it mediated? </li></ul>
Some more to think about: <ul><li>Looking at two media, describe the ways in which a particular group of people are collectively represented or provided for, using specific examples to support your response. </li></ul>To what extent do audiences use media to construct their own sense of collective identity? “ The media has replaced family, society and religion as the main source of collective identity.” Discuss.