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Exam info

  1. 1. Section A: Postmodernism EXAM INFO Title of exam Marks Requirements Media platforms Styles of questions Past paper questions
  2. 2. Official title of exam • The A2 exam is titled Critical Perspectives in Media
  3. 3. Marks? • How many marks? • Length of exam? 50 marks 1 hr (part of 2 hour exam) It is marked by EAA, EX, T (same as other exams)
  4. 4. Requirements (important bits) • Candidates must, in advance of the examination and, through specific case studies, texts, debates and research of the candidates’ choice, prepare to demonstrate understanding of the contemporary issue. • This understanding must combine knowledge of at least two media and a range of texts, industries, audiences and debates, • The assessment of the response will be generic, allowing for the broadest possible range of responses within the topic area chosen. • Each topic is accompanied by four prompt questions, and candidates must be prepared to answer an exam question that relates to one or more of these four prompts. • There should be emphasis on the historical, the contemporary and the future in relation to the chosen topic, with most attention on the present. • Centres are thus advised to ensure that study materials for this unit are up to date and relevant.
  5. 5. Required platforms to study • How post-modern media relate to genre and narrative across two media, – – – – – – computer / video games and new forms of representation post-modern cinema interactive media reality TV music video Advertising Also study……. – post-modern audience theories – aspects of globalisation – parody and pastiche in media texts or a range of other applications of post-modern media theory
  6. 6. Styles of questions • Definitions of postmodernism (in relation to media products and media audiences). • What are the different versions of post-modernism (historical period, style, theoretical approach)? • The difference between postmodern media and traditional media. • What are the arguments for and against understanding some forms of media as post-modern? • In what ways do media audiences and industries operate differently in a post-modern world? • The impact of postmodern media on audiences and the ways in which we think about texts. • How do post-modern media texts challenge traditional text-reader relations and the concept of representation? • In what ways do media audiences and industries operate differently in a post-modern world? • How do post-modern media texts challenge traditional text-reader relations and the concept of representation? • Debates about postmodernism and whether it is really a useful theory or not. • Examples of media products which you think can be, or have been defined as postmodern, and the reasons for them being analysed in this way.
  7. 7. Essay Question Checklist • • • • Definition (elements) Different versions Comparison between pomo/traditional How pomo texts challenge traditional text reader relations and concept of representation • How audiences & industries operate differently in pomo world • Impact on audience • Arguments for/against (debates) – useful theory? You will have choice of 2 questions, answer 1
  8. 8. Past paper Questions DATE EXAM QUESTION Jan 10 What is meant by ‘postmodern media’? Explain why the idea of ‘postmodern media’ might be considered controversial. June 10 Why are some media products described as ‘postmodern’? “Postmodern media blur the boundary between reality and representation”. Discuss this idea with reference to media texts you have studied. Jan 11 Explain why certain kinds of media can be defined as postmodern. Discuss why some people are not convinced by the idea of postmodern media. June 11 How do postmodern media differ from other media? How far do you accept the idea of postmodernism? Jan 12 “Postmodern media manipulate time and space.” To what extend does this definition apply to texts you have studied? Define postmodern media with examples. June 12 Assess the arguments for and against postmodernism, in relation to media examples. “Postmodern media break the rules of representation.” Discuss. Jan 13 “All contemporary media is postmodern.” Discuss this statement in relation to examples you have studied. Evaluate theories of postmodernism in relation to media. June 13
  9. 9. Read first pages in e-book • The textbook for media is now available online as an e-book. You can access it at home or on your iPad when you get it. • • • • • Go to website: url: http://my.dynamic-learning.co.uk/Default.aspx?cid=21302 Centre ID: 21302 Username: 21302hb Password: erteach • Click on 'Dynamic E-book' (the A2 one is 2nd one in with orange on cover) and then interactive pages...... • Postmodernism = (start page 136)
  10. 10. Summary of textbook (pomo intro) Pg 136-139
  11. 11. • • • • • • • • • • Pomo = media saturated world Constantly immersed in media…work, home, on the go, Distinction of reality and media representation becomes blurred No sense of difference between real things/experiences and images/simulations of them Media reality = new reality Representation gets ‘remixed/jumbled’ by intertexuality (pastiche/parody) These texts make no attempt to claim they are ‘real’ Rejection that any text is ‘better’ than another Anything can be art and reach anyone Distinction between media and reality has collapsed; our reality is a reality determined by images and representations (state of simulcrum) – Images refer to eachother and represent eachother as reality RATHER than an pure reality that exists before the image (this is hyperreality) – They seek not to represent reality but media reality
  12. 12. 2 key pomo thinkers: Jean Francois Lytord, Jean Baurillard • Both French • Both dead • Idea of truth should be deconstructed so we can challenge dominant ideas that people claim as the truth (which Lyotard calls ‘grand narratives’) • In pomo world, media texts attempt to remove the illusion of stories and because they attempt to challenge truth/reality, these texts are competing for truth/reality
  13. 13. • Baurillard said: – “Truth is what we should rid ourselves of as fast as possible and pass it on to somebody else. As with illnesses, it’s the only way to be cured of it. He who hangs onto the truth has lost.” • Many people find this offensive, and think it is only people who are privileged, educated, from big democratic nations who have this ‘playful stance’ on the truth – Compared with people from Iraq, Zimbabae, Tibet who cannot have have such a light-hearted stance on truth as they face serious issues of truth everyday such as human rights/justice • • • • Baurillard is not deny these political realities but establishing a philosophical stance Postmodernists cannot wish to remove one version of truth and replace it with another a ‘correct’ one; but view them with suspicion. Religious people believe in textual wisdom (i.e. bible) and sacred moral principles ……therefore it would make it hard to someone to dismiss these ‘grand narratives’ (realities) and replacing/merge them with postmodernism Another argument against postmodernism (because of people’s discomfort with ‘anti-truth’ which is about relativism and has the notion of ‘anything goes’) • • Could lead to moral chaos Ethical anarchy – If truth is absent, how do we deal with matters of justice?
  14. 14. • No longer a distinction between reality and a representing image (simulacrum) • Baurillard introducing idea of hyperreality – Disneyland: • real in physical space (actual buildings/structures) • Also fictional and representational (fantasy characters and stories) • Line between these is blurred • Semiotics: – Signs = ideas/people/places – For Baurillard, only surface meaning, no longer anything original to represent, sign is meaning • Society made wholly of simulacra (simulations of reality which replace ‘pure reality’ – Pure reality is replaced by the hypereal (boundary between reality/imaginary is eroded) • Baurillard’s work is an attempt to expose this ‘open secret’ of how we live and make sense of the world

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