Revision of classic media theorists


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Revision of classic media theorists

  1. 1. Marxism says that people in the world are organized intodifferent groups or classes based on their relationship to howthings are made. Most people are called "workers" becausethey work in factories or offices or farms for money.Theybelong to the "working class" (or "proletariat"). Another group,who are not as big as the working class are "capitalists",because they own the factories, land and buildings that theworkers have to work in and also own all of the tools theworkers have to use. Marx calls Capitalists the "Ruling Class"because they live off of the work of all the workers. He alsosays that the Capitalists own the government, army andcourts.
  2. 2. In Marxist views, Capital is the "means of production" andmoney which the Capitalist can invest in different places ofbusiness so that they can "profit" or gain more Capital.Most workers work for companies owned by Capitalists or"Petit-bourgeois" (small business owners).The capitalist paysa wage to the worker in exchange for the workers time.Thecapitalist has bought a period of time from the worker whichthe worker must then use to labour for the Capitalist, whichaccording to Marxist economic thinking is the only thing thatcan create value in a commodity, and then exploits the timeof the worker as much as they can.The capitalist amassescapital by paying the worker less wealth than they make forthe Capitalist.
  3. 3. Cultural hegemony is the philosophic and sociological concept,originated by the Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, that aculturally-diverse society can be ruled or dominated by one ofits social classes. It is the dominance of one social group overanother, e.g. the ruling class over all other classes. The theoryclaims that the ideas of the ruling class come to be seen as thenorm; they are seen as universal ideologies, perceived tobenefit everyone whilst only really benefiting the ruling class.
  4. 4. The gaze is a Feminist theory developed to highlight the power imbalancebetween men and women analysing the way men see women, the way womenview themselves and other women.The theory suggests that an audience areforced to view the text from the perspective a heterosexual male, filmsconstantly focus on women’s curves and events that happen to them areportrayed at a male angle.The male gaze denies women human agency, relegating them to the status ofobjects.Therefore the female viewers experience the text narrative secondarily,by identifying with a man’s perspective (male gaze). In addition she argues thatsexism can also occur in the way the text is presented. Moreover, people areencouraged to gaze at women in advertising that sexualizes a womans bodyeven when the womans body is unrelated to the advertised product.
  5. 5. Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for herpioneering work on the image of women in advertising andher critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. Herfilms, lectures, and television appearances have been seen bymillions of people throughout the world. She was named byThe NewYorkTimes Magazine as one of the three most popularspeakers on college campuses. She is the author of the award-winning book Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes theWayWeThink and Feel and co-author of So Sexy So Soon:TheNew Sexualized Childhood andWhat Parents Can Do to ProtectTheir Kids.The prize-winning films based on her lecturesinclude KillingUs Softly, Spin the Bottle, and Slim Hopes.
  6. 6. Walter Lippmann defined stereotypes in the 1920s. He was anAmericanpublic intellectual, writer, reporter, and political commentator famous for beingamong the first to introduce the concept of ColdWar. Lippmann was twiceawarded (1958 and 1962) a Pulitzer Prize for his syndicated newspaper column,"Today andTomorrow".Walter Lippmann
  7. 7. Later, Dyer (1993) described four functions of Lippmann’s definition,which are:• an ordering process - stereotypes serve to order our reality in an easy to understandform which although an incomplete picture of the world is certainly not false, after all,knowing a little about New York is better than knowing nothing at all!• a ‘short cut’ - because they are simplifications, stereotypes act as a shortcut tomeanings. One of the most powerful short cuts to meaning is stereotypes used iniconography. For example, yellow cabs are in New York; red buses in London; anintellectual wears spectacles and so on ..• way of referring to the world - Since stereotypes have their origins in the real world theyare social constructs and as such are a form of re-presentation• an expression of our values and beliefs - Stereotypes are only effective if they arebelieved to be a view of a group of people which has a consensus. Of course, as manyof the people who hold the stereotype actually derived their view from the stereotype,then the consensus is more imagined than real.
  8. 8. Star TheoryStars as ConstructionsStars are constructed, artificial images, even if they are represented as being "realpeople", experiencing real emotions etc. It helps if their image contains a USP(unique selling proposition) — they can be copied and/or parodied because of it.Their representation may be metonymic — Madonnas conical bra in the early1990s, Bonos Fly sunglasses, Britneys belly, Justin Biebers bangs. Pop starshave the advantage over film stars in that their constructed image may be muchmore consistent over a period of time, and is not dependent on the creative inputof others (e.g. screenwriters writing their lines).Dyer proposes that:A star is an image not a real person that is constructed (as any otheraspect of fiction is) out of a range of materials (eg advertising,magazines etc as well as films [music]).
  9. 9. Rethinking Stereotypes described the assumptions many people holdabout stereotypes1. Stereotypes are always erroneous (false) in content2.They are pejorative (critical) concepts3.They are about groups with whom we have little or no social contact; byimplication, therefore, they are not held about ones own group4.They are about minority (or oppressed) groups5.They are simple6.They are rigid and do not change7.They are not structurally reinforced8.The existence of contradictory stereotypes is evidence that they areerroneous, but of nothing else9. People either hold stereotypes (believe them to be true) or do not10. Because someone holds a stereotype of a group, his or her behaviourtowards the group can be predicted.
  10. 10. Uses and Gratification TheoryUses and GratificationsTheory is a popular approach to understanding masscommunication.The theory places more focus on the consumer, or audience, instead ofthe actual message itself by asking “what people do with media” rather than “what mediadoes to people” (Katz, 1959) . It assumes that members of the audience are not passive buttake an active role in interpreting and integrating media into their own lives.The theoryalso holds that audiences are responsible for choosing media to meet their needs.Theapproach suggests that people use the media to fulfil specific gratifications.5 reasons why people may engage with the media:• Escape from reality (film)• Relate to others/characters (soap) Elihu Katz• Entertainment (drama/comedy)• Informed and educated (news/documentary)• Socialise with others (Facebook/popular series)Jay G Blumler
  11. 11. The theory suggests that storiesbegin with an equilibrium or statusquo where any potentiallyopposing forces are in balance.This is disrupted by some event,setting in chain a series of events.Problems are solved so that ordercan be restored to the world of thefiction.
  12. 12. Began by studying traditional Russian folk tales.From here a theory emerged for studying media textsand productions, which indicates that there were 7broad character types - the result of the author’sanalysis of 100 tales.The villain (struggles against the hero)The donor(prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object)The (magical) helper (helps the hero in the quest)The princess (person the hero marries, often sought for during thenarrative)Her fatherThe dispatcher (character who makes the lack known and sends the herooff)The hero or victim/seeker hero, reacts to the donor, weds the princess
  13. 13. Barthes often claimed to be fascinated by the meanings of thethings that surround us in our everyday lives. Barthes said hewanted to challenge the `innocence and `naturalness ofcultural texts and practices which were capable of producingall sorts of supplementary meanings, or connotations to useBarthess preferred term.Although objects, gestures and practices have a certainutilitarian function, they are not resistant to the imposition ofmeaning.There is no such thing, to take but one example, as acar which is a purely functional object devoid of connotationsand resistant to the imposition of meaning ....
  14. 14. Example:A BMW and a Citroën 2CV share the same functional utility, theydo essentially the same job but connote different things abouttheir owners: thrusting, upwardly-mobile executive versusecologically sound, right-on trendy. We can speak of cars then,as signs expressive of a number of connotations. It is these sortsof secondary meanings or connotations that Barthes isinterested in uncovering in Mythologies. Barthes wants to stoptaking things for granted, wants to bracket or suspendconsideration of their function, and concentrate rather on whatthey mean and how they function as signs. In many respectswhat Barthes is doing is interrogating the obvious, taking acloser look at that which gets taken for granted, making explicitwhat remains implicit.Think about objects which accompany women. What can we connote aboutthe woman from what she has about her?