A2 media theory part 1


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These slides are a summary overview of, in some cases, a few very complex theories. Apologies for the over-simplification.
This resource is designed to be a helpful starting point for further study and revision. It should always be used alongside specific contexts and examples.
It is also intended to persuade skeptics that Media Studies deserve to be taken seriously.

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A2 media theory part 1

  1. 1. Media Theory Overview Part 1 These slides are a summary overview of, in some cases, a few very complex theories. Apologies for the over-simplification. This resource is designed to be a helpful starting point for further study and revision. It should always be used alongside specific contexts and examples. It is also intended to persuade skeptics that Media Studies deserve to be taken seriously. Jon Meier
  2. 2. Postmodernism 1 Nothing is original 2 Parody & Pastiche 3 Bricolage 4 Self-reflective 5 Hybrid 6 Blurring of trad. boundaries 7 mix of high & low culture 8 Form over content 9 Intertextuality Hyperreality Mentioned in the Matrix Baudrillard Match these up with the definitions on the left: a) Aesthetics b) Imitation c) Simulation, replica, duplication d) Mixing styles/genres e) Sticking together random elements f) One text referring to another g) e.g. male/female h) Aware of its own status as construction i)e.g. Ballet & breakdance In what ways in QI postmodern? Think of other media examples Music? Facebook?
  3. 3. NARRATIVE & GENRE THEORY Todorov Propp Levi-Strauss 8 character types Binary opposition 3 part structure LINK the following: Narrative frame Backstory Flashback Flash forward Sequel & prequel enigma (non) -linear multistrand Fractured/ fragmented narrative Open(-ended) vs closed Series vs serial Cliff-hanger Todorov: Equilibrium Disruption Resolution Repertoire of elements Iconography Repetition & variation Repetition & difference Hybrid vs pure iconography Once upon a time … and they all (nearly) lived happily ever after Is genre dead? Who is telling the story? For whom? Why? Purpose? Message? Motivation? How do we know? MEDIATION - filtering, omission, selecting, ordering emphasis (foregrounding) Syd Field: 3 act structure Set-up conflict /confrontation Resolution / Pay off
  4. 4. Auteur TheoryDirector of a film has full creative control; Not the producer or film company (studio) Director controls every aspect of the production process Like an author, the film is their personal vision Alfred Hitchcock Stanley Kubrick Tim Burton Wes Anderson Quentin Tarantino The style is Distinctive Original Quirky Individual See: Music video – Chris Cunningham, Spike Jonze, David Fincher They reject: - Producer/ studio led domination - genre - High concept franchise films
  5. 5. Moral PanicsThe mass hysteria arising from a feeling that society is in a state of moral decline & THAT CERTAIN GROUPS ARE TO BLAME Popular Media create scapegoats (‘folk devils’ who they blame for society’s decline find examples of how the media use Moral Panics to stir up resentment and fear of minority groups Moral panics are seized on and stirred up by popular media Moral panics in the media tend to lead to people demanding tougher laws, firmer policing, more discipline, immigration controls etc Links with Hegemony And pressure to preserve the STATUS QUO http://www.slideshare.net/kimberleyfinn/moral-panic Stanley Cohen
  6. 6. Hegemony “The ideas of the dominant classes, are in every epoch, the dominant ideas” (Karl Marx 1845) The power of a ruling minority (elite) over a majority ‘upper class’ establishment / elite / ruling class = big business & institutions Aristocracy? The church? Landlords? / Monarchy Government Oxbridge Rich & Powerful Editors & media owners politicians? landowners Workers (‘the masses’) ordinary people Mainstreamers Mass audiences In many societies , the rule of a minority is imposed on the people by force, tyranny, dictatorship and oppression Is this true in the UK? Who owns the media? Whose side are the media on? Gramsci – says that hegemony is achieved by winning the consent of the masses Preserving the STATUS QUO
  7. 7. Pluralism Sometimes called Liberal Pluralism The opposite of hegemony. Wide variety of media institutions so there’s no single dominant view Multiple opinions. Generally linked to Western democracy. Media objectivity - ‘freedom of the press’ / freedom of information/ Freedom of expression Exposing corruption and abuse of power among the elite Challenges dominant institutions Democratization Digital media, blogs, protest sites e.g Object & Everyday Sexism The Guardian Greenpeace Index on Censorship https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY8pxyO0XL8 In the UK, it could be argued that we have a PLURALIST media- discuss Gives a voice to the ordinary citizens Empowers users Covers: User Generated content, user control, democratization Arab Spring Citizen journalism
  8. 8. Cultivation Theory & Mean World Syndrome George Gerbner 1960’s Focus on TV Steady exposure to media violence over a period of time desensitizes audiences to the effects of violence It cultivates a lack of feeling among audiences Desensitization= numbing Over time, it can affect attitudes and behaviour Cultivation Theory Mean World Syndrome The more TV people watch, the more negative and pessimistic is their view of the world https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msfu8YCCc8Q https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylhqasb1chI How reliable are Media effects models? Bandura’s Bobo Doll experiment
  9. 9. Uses & Gratifications Model See Dyer ‘s utopian pleasures model Blumler & Katz 1970s Audiences choose media for their own purposes and to satisfy particular needs. Audiences are active in engaging with media Personal Identity – defining who you are by the media you consume Information- ‘surveillance’ - finding out more Entertainment escape ‘diversion’ Social interaction Getting on with others who share the same media tastes; acceptance Links with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs http://www.slideshare.net/zlorhenley/uses- and-gratifications-theory-6933502 See critique here on final slide: PIES
  10. 10. Hypodermic Needle Model Links to -Propaganda -Advertising See also Frankfurt school Flow Theory Comes from Behaviorist models of audience behaviour War of the Worlds Radio Drama US 1938 Mass panic Cultivation Theory Audiences are passive receivers of media content Media influences audience behaviour and attitudes
  11. 11. Dyer’s Utopian Pleasures Model What about dystopian pleasures? Do you think dystopian representations have a function? Give examples of ‘feelgood’ escapist texts Media provides people with a form of diversion, escape from their dull ordinary lives Dumbing down? Infotainment? Sometimes called: Utopian Solutions Model Links to U & G Theory Relates to Game shows/ comedies Action/adventure movies Computer games Social tension vs Utopian Solution Exhaustion – Energy Scarcity- Abundance Dreariness-Intensity Fragmentation- Community Richard Dyer
  12. 12. How to bring theoretical perspectives into your critical analysis • This reflects / illustrates/ shows …the X model • This ties in with Y’s theories on X • This could be seen to link with the X model • There is a link here with X • We can see a connection here with X / with Y’s views on… • At this point it is worth considering Y’s … • X’s views/ the X model could be relevant here • Although Y’s views may applied here, I believe…