Question 1b Representation


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Question 1b Representation

  1. 2. Representation <ul><li>How the media shows us things about society – but this is through careful mediation. Hence re-presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>For representation to be meaningful to audiences there needs to be a shared recognition of people, situations, ideas etc. </li></ul><ul><li>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). </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>Richard Dyer (1983) posed a few questions when analysing media representations in general. </li></ul><ul><li>1. What sense of the world is it making? </li></ul><ul><li>2. What does it imply? Is it typical of the world or deviant? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Who is it speaking to? For whom? To whom? </li></ul><ul><li>4. What does it represent to us and why? How do we respond to the representation? </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>In terms of your coursework you will be looking at representation in terms of : </li></ul><ul><li>MARXISM </li></ul><ul><li>FEMINISM </li></ul><ul><li>POSTMODERNISM </li></ul><ul><li>STEREOTYPES </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>Ideologies and Representation (MARXISM) </li></ul><ul><li>A hegemonic view of society – fundamental inequalities in power between social groups. Groups in power exercise their influence culturally rather than by force. </li></ul><ul><li>Concept has origins in Marxist theory - ruling capitalist class are able to protect their economic interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Representations are encoded into mass media texts in order to do this – reinforce dominant ideologies in society. </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>What is important is that, in Marxist terms, the media ’s role may be seen as : </li></ul><ul><li>Circulating and reinforcing dominant ideologies </li></ul><ul><li>(less frequently) undermining and challenging such ideologies. </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Links to Roland Barthes (1973) Myth – ideologies work through symbolic codes – mythic in the sense of having the appearance of being ‘natural’ or ‘common sense’. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Judith Williamson (1978 ) detailed that advertisements (film posters, adverts for music texts you created) draw heavily on myths – they use cultural signifiers to represent qualities which can be realised through the consumption of the product. (fulfilment of needs – Maslow). </li></ul><ul><li>In the case of magazine texts and adverts they are encoded specifically to represent an aspirational lifestyle offering audiences images of an ideal self and ideal partner (Carl Rogers,1980). </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>In terms of music videos – do we aspire to emulate the artists – ‘shaman’ as defined by Carlsson (1999) through the representations? </li></ul><ul><li>Does this lead to a further analysis of sub-cultures – representations in videos actually provide identities - ideological basis for fans. Sarah Thornton (1995) described “subcultural capital” as the cultural knowledge and commodities acquired by members of subcultures raised their status and helped them differentiate – key to representations. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Barthes (1972) view on sexualisation of females in texts is this: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Striptease is based on contradiction. Woman is desexualised at the very moment when she is stripped naked”. He is suggesting it is clothes that sexualise her more – loads of evidence of this in pop videos. Can this be subverted in your texts by your representations or not? </li></ul>
  10. 11. Gay Gaze <ul><li>It can be argued that we can also have a ‘gay male gaze’ (Steve Neale, 1992). Images which show men in passive, submissive, sexualised poses – lying down, looking up at the camera so that the viewer is dominant can be described as homoerotic. In this case the male subject will have hands behind their heads in a pose which could suggest relaxation but could also be read as submissive and non-aggressive. </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Baudrillard discussed the concept of hyperreality – we inhabit a society that is no longer made up of any original thing for a sign to represent – it is the sign that is now the meaning. He argued that we live in a society of simulacra – simulations of reality that replace the real. Think Disneyland. </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>We often judge a text ’s realism against our own ‘situated culture’. What is ‘real’ can therefore become subjective. </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotypes can be used to enhance realism - a news programme, documentary, film text etc about football hooligans, for e.g, will all use very conventional images that are associated with the realism that audiences will identify with such as shots of football grounds, public houses etc. </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>They aren ’t always negative (French good cooks) </li></ul><ul><li>They aren ’t always about minority groups or those less powerful (upper class twits) </li></ul><ul><li>They are not always false – supported by empirical evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>They are not always rigid and unchanging. </li></ul><ul><li>Perkins argues that if stereotypes were always so simple then they would not work culturally and over time. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Essay <ul><li>“ Representations in media texts are often simplistic and reinforce dominant ideologies so that audiences can make sense of them”. Evaluate the ways that you have used/challenged simplistic representations in one of the media products you have produced. </li></ul>