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A2 media theory part 2


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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 2

  1. 1. Media Theory Overview Part 2 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. Gobalisation Media is a global business Conglomerates are multi-national Digital media cross national boundaries Globalisation is a feature of NDM Audiences are international Marshall McLuhan – 1964 ‘The Global Village’ Virgin Newscorp- Sky,Fox Pearson AOL Time Warner Is there such a thing as a global culture? Is the flow of cultural influences and ideas purely from West to East??? Mass global audiences – Youtube Facebook etc Y&R 4Cs model HBO Disney Blockbuster movies section-b-contemporary-media-issues-global-media/ Excellent slideshare 15403894 Her’s a UNIVERSITY PERSPECTIVE: globalization-17502722 US dominance? Cultural imperialism The West v The Rest
  3. 3. Impact of 9/11 Argo Breaking Bad Homeland United 93 Batman - The Dark Knight Trilogy Later Bond? Cloverfield Paranoia Insecurity Islamophobia Shattering of US self confidence Challenge to supremacy Compare newer texts with past superhero movies 9_11_American_films A model MEST 4 essay – university standard od-blockbusters-cant-stop-evoking- 911.html Or is there a backlash ? – a reassertion of US supremacy and invincibility ? errorism-in-movies-pre-and-post-9- 11/20/ An interesting pictorial journey through key action movies pre and post 9/11
  4. 4. Two Step FlowFlow theory is about how opinions flow between media, opinion leaders & audiences Who shapes our opinions? How important is media in shaping our opinions ? Who used to influence our opinions before mass and digital media? GATEKEEPING OPINION LEADERS MEDIATION/ filtering Link with hegemony Link with dominant reading (Hall) How are ideas beliefs and values encoded for clear decoding by audiences? Katz & Lazersfeld 1940s Media Information Opinion leaders audience Do media affect or reflect opinion?Implies active opinion leaders v passive audiences Bible Priests Churchgoer s
  5. 5. Gramsci 1891-1937 Hegemony is achieved by consent not oppression or tyranny This explains why ruling elites remain in power The struggle for the consent of the mass audiences is always won by those who control the means of media production e.g. entertainment products will help audiences forget they are unhappy and unfairly treated Consent of the masses leads to the preservation of the STATUS QUO What does this mean for media? Applies to film, TV, magazine & music industry? ?v=VAYbwhHr7hc&feature=relmf u Gramsci & Hegemony: Pdf doc Nice field Happy sheep Put v simply: Give people what they want & they won’t complain
  6. 6. Frankfurt SchoolLeading exponents Theodor Adorno Walter Benjamin Max Horkheimer Main ideas: Culture industries (pop music, film) manipulate popular taste for the purpose of profit. Dominance of US entertainment over mass audiences was similar to exercise of power through propaganda in Nazi Germany. Encourage conformity & fashion-following. Stifle individuality. Mass media = Mass consumerism Mass media (‘culture industries’) create false hopes and needs which are driven by profits Commercialisation & commodification of culture Marx: commodity fetishism Mass culture involves industrialisation of production school-nutshell.pdf Coincided with growth of advertising industry 1950s and 60s Neo-Marxist
  7. 7. Hall’s Encoding/ decoding Model Main exponent: Stuart Hall All aspects of media (representations, narrative etc) are constructed in order to communicate a message For audiences- decoding media texts involves 3 possible readings (interpretations): Dominant Negotiated Oppositional Importance of forms, language, codes & conventions. Media producers normally encode texts so that the dominant reading emerges – also called the preferred or hegemonic reading 3 Readings Model Producers will aim to avoid polysemy Links to stereotyping Producers encode meaning Audiences decode meaning powerpoint Media representations are never neutral. Always motivated (deliberately constructed) to convey a message
  8. 8. News Values News gathering & News agendas are determined by various criteria - news values News is about events of the day but for media producers it’s also crucially about other factors: e.g. The need to attract audiences (readership, users, ratings) + revenue (advertisers) The need to reflect the values of the media institution Also space & time available, novelty, relevance BBC: professionalism objectivity, balance impartiality lack of bias Accuracy, both sides Fox News? Al Jazeera? CNN? Galtung & Ruge Noam Chomsky 5 news filters: Ownership Funding (Advertising) Sourcing (influence of other big interest groups) Flak – awareness of critics Anti-communism* (*this could now be anti-islamic extremism/ anti terrorism) To be newsworthy an event must follow certain rules; the main ones are Scale (“threshold”) Personalisation Negativity Proximity =closeness to home Elites Continuity Originality & simplicity Chomsky & Herman: ‘Manufacturing Consent’1988
  9. 9. Semiotics The study of meaning Media representations Are deliberately constructed to communicate a message. This means all signifiers are loaded with meaning and association. Iconography denotation connotation 3 types of signifiers (denotation) Signifiers have a paradigmatic (vertical) or syntagmatic (horizontal) relationship to each other:- words & images can be defined by their relationship to each other symbolicIndexicalIconic How does connotation work? audiences will ‘read’ signs in different ways; symbolic, associative deeper meanings Roland Barthes Structuralism Meaning is not obvious but determined by a range of factors Meaning can be manipulated. Audiences play a key part in the decoding of signs
  10. 10. Queer Theory & Gender Conditioning David Gauntlett- Media Gender & Identity ‘Fluid identities’ Gender and sexuality are a result of conditioning. They are imposed, shaped and influenced by society’s expectations and reinforced by media representations Giddens states that identity is partly shaped by media representations – see link below
  11. 11. Feminism Critique of: Patriarchy Stereotyping Objectification Women as submissive, inferior Symbolic Annihilation Marginalization of Women Mulvey + Male Gaze Media represent women as mother/wife, maiden, temptress Naomi Wolf The Beauty Myth The Symbolic Annihilation of Women by the Mass the Media - Gaye Tuchman Voyeurism & scopophilia 2nd Wave Feminism gender-roles/ Clear intro “Mainstream media are inherently sexist”. Discuss annihilation-of-women-by-mass.html Berger: (In art) ..”men look at women, women watch themselves being looked at” Images of women are often decontextualized (cropped) and objectified. Sometimes infantilized
  12. 12. Post-feminism 3rd Wave Feminism Women can use their sexual attractiveness and femininity to achieve power and status. Celebration of sexuality. Women are empowered as women. The aim is still to fight for respect, equality & justice but not to be more like men. Rejection of 2nd wave feminism as white, suburban middle class. Accepts gender difference (but not inequality) Crisis of masculinity: declining role of male dominance and patriarchy in society; – a recognition that traditional ideas of masculinity are no longer valid Is it a female-led backlash against feminism or a male conspiracy? Camille Paglia Hard to define
  13. 13. 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… • Y stated that …. • According to Y…. / according to X’s Model …. • This supports/ contradicts the (Feminist) model… View of a 6th former – not finished and not always v well written but contains good material & comment