SECTION A:
THEORETICAL ANALYSIS
OF COURSEWORK
Narrative Theory
Section A: Theoretical
Evaluation
 You will be asked 2 questions about your
coursework.
 Question 1(a) will ask you to d...
Question 1(b)
 Question 1(b) will ask you to choose one
coursework product (either AS or A2) and
evaluate it in relation ...
Narrative Theory
 Narrative theory analyses the way in which media
texts communicate meaning about events.
 Narrative th...
Key Narrative Theorists
 Branigan
 Propp
 Barthes
 Todorov
 Levi-Strauss
Edward Branigan
 Branigan argues that narrative is ‘ a way of
organising spatial and temporal data into a
cause-effect ch...
Vladimir Propp
 Propp suggests that there are a limited
number of character types that share a
function.
 When an audien...
Tzvetan Todorov
 Equilibrium – disequilibrium – resolution.
 How might this be used to analyse the
ideology of a media t...
Roland Barthes
 Barthes identifies 5 narrative codes which readers
use to decode texts.
 He emphasises the active role o...
Claude Levi-Strauss
 Narratives are structured by pairs of binary
oppositions.
 How can this be used to analyse media te...
Review Theorists
Theorist Why does this theory
apply to my film?
Todorov
Propp
Levi-Strauss
Barthes
Narrative Analysis
 Apply one of the narrative theories to the
analysis of the music video.
 Narrative analysis involves...
Todorov
 Equilibrium – the geeky girl is in love with the
boy next door who only sees her as a friend.
 Disequilibrium –...
Propp – character types
 Hero – character who seeks something – Taylor
Swift
 Villain – character who the hero must over...
Levi-strauss – binary oppositions
 The video involves a number of pairs of
opposites reflecting (and resolving) the
narra...
Binary Opposites
 Male
 Sociable
 Popular
 Sport
 Object
 Female
 Studious
 Unpopular
 Reading
 Subject
Jock Nerd
Levi-Strauss
 What are the key conflicts?
 Which values are dominant in the pairs?
 How are the conflicts resolved?
 W...
Barthes – Narrative Codes
 Action – Viewers are expected to connect
different pieces of narrative (e.g. The boy is
shown ...
Narrative Revision
 Remember to go into the exam with key points
on theories relevant to your film:
 Propp
 Barthes
 T...
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Narative Theories

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Narative Theories

  1. 1. SECTION A: THEORETICAL ANALYSIS OF COURSEWORK Narrative Theory
  2. 2. Section A: Theoretical Evaluation  You will be asked 2 questions about your coursework.  Question 1(a) will ask you to describe and evaluate the development of your coursework from your AS Production to your A2 Production.  You will be asked to do this in relation to one or two of the following areas:  Digital technology  Creativity  Research and Planning  Post-production  Use of media conventions
  3. 3. Question 1(b)  Question 1(b) will ask you to choose one coursework product (either AS or A2) and evaluate it in relation to a theoretical concept.  The exam will specify one concept from the following:  Genre  Narrative  Representation  Audience  Media Language
  4. 4. Narrative Theory  Narrative theory analyses the way in which media texts communicate meaning about events.  Narrative theory can be applied to range of different media including film, TV. Photographs, and magazines.  Narrative analysis of internet based media is more problematic, though may still be relevant. For example, you could consider how someone’s Facebook profile creates a narrative about their life.
  5. 5. Key Narrative Theorists  Branigan  Propp  Barthes  Todorov  Levi-Strauss
  6. 6. Edward Branigan  Branigan argues that narrative is ‘ a way of organising spatial and temporal data into a cause-effect chain of events with a beginning, a middle and end that embodies a judgement about the nature of events.’  What is Branigan saying? Can you think of an example?  Branigan’s key point is that the narrative will embody a judgement – ideology and narrative.
  7. 7. Vladimir Propp  Propp suggests that there are a limited number of character types that share a function.  When an audience reads a media text it deploys its knowledge of these character types in order to decode the meaning of the text.  Can you relate any of the character types to the characters in your coursework products?
  8. 8. Tzvetan Todorov  Equilibrium – disequilibrium – resolution.  How might this be used to analyse the ideology of a media text?
  9. 9. Roland Barthes  Barthes identifies 5 narrative codes which readers use to decode texts.  He emphasises the active role of readers in creating meaning, and their ‘culturally formed expectations’.  The narrative codes are:  Action  Enigma  Semic  Symbolic  Cultural
  10. 10. Claude Levi-Strauss  Narratives are structured by pairs of binary oppositions.  How can this be used to analyse media texts?
  11. 11. Review Theorists Theorist Why does this theory apply to my film? Todorov Propp Levi-Strauss Barthes
  12. 12. Narrative Analysis  Apply one of the narrative theories to the analysis of the music video.  Narrative analysis involves considering how a range of elements (including mise-en-scene, editing, camerawork, sound, as well as events) create meaning for the audience.  Narrative analysis focuses on how the meanings made by the audience are constructed?  How useful is this approach?
  13. 13. Todorov  Equilibrium – the geeky girl is in love with the boy next door who only sees her as a friend.  Disequilibrium – the boy’s girlfriend cheats on him?  Resolution – the geeky girl is transformed into a beautiful girl and gets together with the boy.  What sort of values are reinforced by this narrative structure?
  14. 14. Propp – character types  Hero – character who seeks something – Taylor Swift  Villain – character who the hero must overcome – the girlfriend  Princess – the boy – he is the reward for the hero.  What effect does the use of these character types have?  Why might the hero and villain be female?  What values are reinforced by this?
  15. 15. Levi-strauss – binary oppositions  The video involves a number of pairs of opposites reflecting (and resolving) the narrative conflicts.  There are different sets of oppositions between the jock/the geek, and the cheerleader/the geek.  These oppositions identify the central ideological messages of the video.
  16. 16. Binary Opposites  Male  Sociable  Popular  Sport  Object  Female  Studious  Unpopular  Reading  Subject Jock Nerd
  17. 17. Levi-Strauss  What are the key conflicts?  Which values are dominant in the pairs?  How are the conflicts resolved?  What messages are conveyed through this narrative?
  18. 18. Barthes – Narrative Codes  Action – Viewers are expected to connect different pieces of narrative (e.g. The boy is shown arguing on his phone – viewer assumes it is with his girlfriend).  Enigma – Will the jock and the geek get together?  Semic – glasses, book, notepads, red car, uniforms, white dress/red dress  Symbolic – conflicts between male/female, popular/unpopular, different types of femininity  Cultural – the video draws on stereotypes/cliches of teen movies – jock, cheerleader, geek, girl next door, prom, etc.
  19. 19. Narrative Revision  Remember to go into the exam with key points on theories relevant to your film:  Propp  Barthes  Todorov  Levi-Strauss  Postmodern Theory

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