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Exam lessons 3 (representation) - Section A A2 Media Exam

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Exam lessons 3 (representation) - Section A A2 Media Exam

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Exam lessons 3 (representation) - Section A A2 Media Exam

  1. 1. A2 G325: Critical Perspectives in Media Theoretical Evaluation Of Production 1b) Representations
  2. 2. Question 1b • This question asks you to write about one of your media productions – in this case your SOAP OPERA TRAILER and ancillary tasks can also be referenced. • You will be asked to write about the production by applying ONE media concept
  3. 3. REPRESENTATION • This is the process whereby the media construct versions of people, places and events in mages, words or sound for the transmission through media texts to audiences. Representation is the basis of all media products. We live our lives through actual experience of others and the world around us. Media products construct versions of reality. What does this trailer say about ‘the media’? What is the overarching message the media communicates with regards to gender representation?
  4. 4. REPRESENTATION and THE MEDIA • The media impacts the way we understand the world and ourselves. • The media is the message and the messenger… a powerful one • To understand society you have to understand media • Media delivers content that shapes society • The development of NMT has widened the reach of the media • Restrictions and access to media to very different to back in the day • Jane Fonda “Media creates consciousness” – the irony! • The media reflect a patriarchal world through the use of misogynistic images (representations of women)
  5. 5. REPRESENTATION • Representations provide models of how we see gender, social groups and places – aspects of the world we inhabit • They are ideological in that they are constructed within a framework of values and beliefs • They are mediated by individuals and media organisations and reflect the value systems of their sources • No representations are real; they are only versions of the real. Ideology is ideas, values and beliefs in a society. These are often taken for granted and seen as ‘commonsense’.
  6. 6. REPRESENTATION What should be done in terms of your coursework is three things: 1. You must detail how and why you have used Media Language to represent people (gender, class, age, sexuality), places and ideas (the storyline)? 2. Detail what you have done to represent the genre? 3. What ideological messages have you communicated through the way you have represented? (this may be address through the previous two questions)
  7. 7. QUESTIONS ON REPRESENTATION • Richard Dyer (1983) posed a few questions when analysing media representations in general. 1. What sense of the world is it making? 2. What does it imply? Is it typical of the world or deviant? 3. Who is it speaking to? For whom? To whom? 4. What does it represent to us and why? How do we respond to the representation?
  8. 8. MEDIA LANGUAGE Some tools for analysis • How have you used the following to represent people, places, ideas?: • Cinematography (Camera work & Lighting) • Sound • Editing • Mise-en-scene • Include the use of apposite terminology and theory
  9. 9. REPRESENTATION & THEORY • All representations therefore have ideologies behind them. Certain paradigms are encoded into texts and others are left out in order to give a preferred representation (the preferred syntagm) (Levi 􏰂 Strauss, 1958).
  10. 10. SOAP OPERA STUDIES • Women and Soap Opera: A Cultural Feminist Perspective By Dannielle Blumenthal • ‘Although feminism is humanistic in nature, directed against domination in general, it is also concerned more specifically with eliminating the source of women’s oppression, commonly called “patriarchy.” Patriarchy is “father-rule,” meaning the systematic domination of women/feminity by men/masculinity, and or ideologies, social structures, languages, and so on that privilege men's masculinity over women/feminity.’
  11. 11. SOAP OPERA STUDIES • CONSTRUCTION OF CONTEMPORARY WOMEN IN SOAP OPERAS - Dr. Aaliya Ahmed & Ms. Malik Zahra Khalid • In families in which the gender roles are largely traditional, television may tend to serve to reinforce such gender roles. In this way television certainly plays a role in the construction of gender roles. All viewers have several options regarding gender images: to accept them, to disregard them, to interpret them in their own way; and to reject them. • Contemporary soap-operas telecast from satellite channels, mostly have female protagonists, who is traditional, yet at the same time independent and strong. • A prominent and striking characteristic of all soap operas is their focus on interpersonal relationship, especially interpersonal problems. For example, extra marital relationship among the characters in the soaps is very high.
  12. 12. SOAP OPERA STUDIES • COMING CLEAN ON GENDER IN SOAP OPERAS- ERIN BLAKEMORE • He (Jeremy G. Butler) makes the case that it’s time for the toolbox of film studies techniques to be turned to “the quite distinct audial and visual style of soap opera, a style uniquely adapted to the preservation of enigmas rather than their resolution.”
  13. 13. REPRESENTATION & THEORY • 􏰆In terms of your coursework you will be looking at representation in terms of : • 􏰆 MARXISM • 􏰆 FEMINISM • 􏰆 􏰆 STEREOTYPES
  14. 14. Ideologies and Representation (MARXISM) • A hegemonic view of society 􏰆fundamental inequalities in power between social groups. Groups in power exercise their influence culturally rather than by force. • 􏰆Concept has origins in Marxist theory - ruling capitalist class are able to protect their economic interests. • 􏰆Representations are encoded into mass media texts in order to do this 􏰆 reinforce dominant ideologies in society.
  15. 15. • Tim O’􏰂Sullivan et al. (1998) Ideology 􏰆 refers to a set of ideas which produces a partial and selective view of reality. Notion of ideology entails widely held ideas or beliefs which are seen as 􏰆common􏰆 sense and become naturalised. • • What is important is that, in Marxist terms, the media􏰆s role may be seen as : • Circulating and reinforcing dominant ideologies • 􏰆(less frequently) undermining and challenging such ideologies. Consider the dominant ideological representations of women in soap opera – what are they? Have you gone with this ideology or gone against it? Try not to stick with stereotypical representations – refer to the varied female representations that are present due to the contemporary time we live in?
  16. 16. Antonio Gramsci One example of this is Antonio Gramsci (1891 – 1937). He was an Italian political theorist. A founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy, he was imprisoned by Mussolini's Fascist regime. He is renowned for his concept of cultural hegemony as a means of maintaining the state in a capitalist society.
  17. 17. Hegemony Hegemony is the way in which those in power maintain their control. Dominant ideologies are considered hegemonic; power in society is maintained by constructing ideologies which are usually promoted by the mass media. How have you tried to break with hegemony in the way that you have represented gender in your Soap Opera trailer?
  18. 18. Cultural Hegemony Cultural hegemony is the philosophic and sociological concept that a culturally- diverse society can be ruled or dominated by one of its social classes. It is the dominance of one social group over another, e.g. the ruling class over all other classes. The theory claims that the ideas of the ruling class come to be seen as the norm; they are seen as universal ideologies, perceived to benefit everyone whilst only really benefiting the ruling class.
  19. 19. Louis Althusser • Marxist Louis Althusser (1971) looked at the way audiences were 􏰆hailed􏰆 in a process known as interpellation. This idea is the social/ideological practice of misrecognising yourself based on a 􏰂false consciousness􏰆 mediated by media representations.
  20. 20. Interpellation • Althusser did not believe that the individual is a self-conscious, autonomous being whose actions can be explained by personal beliefs, intentions, preferences and so on. • Rather he sees individuals as subjects constituted as a result of pre- given structures. He introduces the concept of ‘interpellation’ to describe the process by which individuals are constituted as subjects. • Ideology operates to do this. Individuals are interpellated (have social identities conferred on them) through ideological states apparatuses from which people gain their sense of identity as well as their understanding of reality. • Like all structuralists Althusser sees the human being as determined by pre-given structures such as language, family relations, cultural conventions and other social forces. Althusser did not concede that the individuals could resist the process of interpellation.
  21. 21. Interpellation: summary • Interpellation is a term used to explain how the media text constructs a subject (represents a person) and positions them a way that the representation is seen as every day and normal. • For interpellation to work we must recognise and accept the representations that we see and how we fit in with them. • So, interpellation is like ‘recruitment’ – it invites a person into accepting a subject position (a collective identity) and also the ideology (beliefs and ideas) that go with that collective group
  22. 22. Gender and Ideology (FEMINISM) • 􏰆Masculinity and femininity are socially constructed. • Ideas about gender are produced and reflected in language O􏰂 Sullivan et al (1998). • 􏰆Feminism is a label that refers to a broad range of views containing one shared assumption 􏰆 gender inequalities in society, historically masculine power (patriarchy) exercised at right of women􏰆s interests and rights.
  23. 23. Laura Mulvey • Laura Mulvey (1975) argues that the dominant point of view is masculine. The female body is displayed for the male gaze in order to provide erotic pleasure for the male (vouyerism). Women are therefore objectified by the camera lens and whatever gender the spectator/audience is positioned to accept the masculine POV.
  24. 24. Stereotypes? • O􏰂Sullivan et al (1998) details that a stereotype is a label that involves a process of categorisation and evaluation. • We can call stereotypes shorthand to narratives because such simplistic representations define our understanding of media texts 􏰆 e.g we know who is good and who is evil.
  25. 25. Stereotypes? • First coined by Walter Lippmann (1956) the word stereotype wasn􏰆t meant to be negative and was simply meant as a shortcut or ordering process. • 􏰆In ideological terms, stereotyping is a means by which support is provided by one group􏰆s differential against another.
  26. 26. Stereotypes? • 􏰆 Tessa Perkins (1979) says, however, that stereotyping is not a simple process. She identified that some of the many ways that stereotypes are assumed to operate aren􏰆t true. • 􏰆 They aren􏰆t always negative (French good cooks) • 􏰆 They aren􏰆t always about minority groups or those less • powerful (upper class twits) • 􏰆 They are not always false 􏰆 supported by empirical evidence. • 􏰆 They are not always rigid and unchanging. • Perkins argues that if stereotypes were always so simple then they would not work culturally and over time.
  27. 27. Stereotypes • Martin Barker (1989) - stereotypes are condemned for misrepresenting the 􏰆real world􏰆. (e.g. Reinforcing that the (false) stereotype that women are available for sex at any time) . He also says stereotypes are condemned for being too close to real world (e.g showing women in home servicing men, which many still do). • 􏰆 Bears out Perkins􏰆 point that for stereotypes to work they need audience recognition.
  28. 28. Stereotypes • Dyer (1977) details that if we are to be told that we are going to see a film about an alcoholic then we will know that it will be a tale either of sordid decline or of inspiring redemption. • 􏰆 He suggests this is a particularly interesting potential use of stereotypes, in which the character is constructed, at the level of dress, performance, etc., as a stereotype but is deliberatIey given a narrative function that is not implicit in the stereotype, thus throwing into question the assumptions signalled by the stereotypical iconography.
  29. 29. Analyse media Deconstruct your production and the various stages. Choose elements to discuss that will allow you to focus on the importance of REPRESENTATION Soap trailer and ancillary tasks What did you create? What is your understanding of representation? (use quotes/theory) Conclude: How useful is it applying the theories of representations to your products. How have you constructed certain representations in your product? E.g. Generic representations, narrative representations, gender representations? in one of your coursework productions. What was the intended effect of the representation? (reference theory)

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