Media is actually the plural of medium Break this down a little more and show video – trailer for Miss Representation - the point being to understand how much media the average person consumes on a regular basis and how that 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 media reflect a patriarchal world and through the use of misogynistic images (representations of women)
This is just guidance and can be deviated away from
Questions to help them think – These are questions not necessarily to be answered but to get you thinking about HOW you have used the concept of REPRESENTATION
Go through the trailer and help students to create links and write analytically about their work link to slide 6 questions
For example you wanted to switch between a representation of a strong and weak female – consider where this comes from? We live a partriarchal society, frequently in television women are portrayed as irrational beings – a stereotype forced upon women by men – but the more frequently we see this representation the more is becomes naturalised and seen as ‘normal’
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?
Ho have you used interpellation in your soap opera trailer?
Exam lessons 3 (representation) - Section A A2 Media Exam
• 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
• 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 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
• 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 media reflect a patriarchal world through
the use of misogynistic images
(representations of women)
• 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
• 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
What should be done in terms of your coursework is
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)
QUESTIONS ON REPRESENTATION
• Richard Dyer (1983) posed a few questions
when analysing media representations in
1. What sense of the world is it making?
2. What does it imply? Is it typical of the world
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?
Some tools for analysis
• How have you used the following to represent
people, places, ideas?:
• Cinematography (Camera work & Lighting)
• Include the use of apposite terminology and
REPRESENTATION & THEORY
• All representations
paradigms are encoded
into texts and others
are left out in order to
give a preferred
(Levi Strauss, 1958).
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.’
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.
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.”
REPRESENTATION & THEORY
• In terms of your coursework you will be
looking at representation in terms of :
Ideologies and Representation
• 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
• Representations are encoded into mass media
texts in order to do this reinforce dominant
ideologies in society.
• 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
medias role may be seen as :
• Circulating and reinforcing dominant ideologies
• (less frequently) undermining and challenging
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?
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
Hegemony is the way in
which those in power
maintain their control.
Dominant ideologies are
power in society is
maintained by constructing
ideologies which are usually
promoted by the mass
How have you tried to break with
hegemony in the way that you have
represented gender in your Soap Opera
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
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
• Marxist Louis Althusser
(1971) looked at the way
audiences were hailed in a
process known as
interpellation. This idea is
practice of misrecognising
yourself based on a false
consciousness mediated by
• 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
• 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.
• 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
Gender and Ideology (FEMINISM)
• Masculinity and femininity are socially
• 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
womens interests and rights.
• 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
• OSullivan 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.
• First coined by Walter Lippmann (1956) the
word stereotype wasnt meant to be negative
and was simply meant as a shortcut or
• In ideological terms, stereotyping is a means
by which support is provided by one groups
differential against another.
• 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 arent true.
• They arent always negative (French good cooks)
• They arent always about minority groups or those less
• powerful (upper class twits)
• They are not always false supported by empirical
• 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.
• 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.
• 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
• 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.
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
What did you
What is your
Conclude: How useful is it
applying the theories of
representations to your
How have you constructed
certain representations in
your product? E.g. Generic
in one of your coursework productions.
What was the
intended effect of the