• To introduce the concept of genre
theory and key genre theorists.
•To have a basic understanding of how to
evaluate your coursework against genre
Which theories should I use?
1. Rick Altman
2. Steve Neale
3. David Buckingham
First though we need to learn about their
Key terminology for GENRE
• Theorists: Steve Neale, Rick Altman, David
• Codes and conventions
• Recognisable characteristics
• Hybrid/ hybridity
‘Analyse one of your coursework
productions in relation to GENRE’
What do you already know about the key
• Genre means ‘type’/’form’
• Genres have a set of codes and conventions
• They change over time to reflect changes in
society and attitudes
• They can be a mix of genres....hybrid
How do you answer this question?
1. You need to show you understand what
2. You have to apply theories of genre to your
3. You have to analyse ONE of your
courseworks. MUSIC VIDEO.
4. The best way to do this is to take a step back
from your video....a ‘critical distance’
What is genre?
• ‘Genre’ is a critical tool that helps us study
texts and audience responses to texts by
dividing them into categories based on
• The word genre comes from the French (and
originally Latin) word for ‘type’
• It refers to a distinctive ‘type’ of media text
Why is genre important to...?
1. The PRODUCER of the music video?
• Genre is a template for what they are making
2. The DISTRIBUTOR of the music video?
• Genre provides assumptions about who the
audience is and how to market the music
videos for that specific audience.
3. The AUDIENCE of the music video?
• They know what to expect from the video.
All genres have a set of codes and conventions/
This means they are divided up into more specific categories that
allow audiences to identify them specifically by their familiar
and what become recognisable characteristics.
1. Typical mise-en-scene/ visual style
(iconography, props, locations, costume, shot
types, camera angles, special effects).
2. Typical types of narrative (plot)
3. Typical characters (do typical male/ female roles
4. Typical editing style
5. Typical sound design
Q. What is your genre of music video?
Q. In your group, using the 5 ‘typicals’ from the
previous slide, write down as many familiar
and recognisable characteristics of that genre
that you can think of.
Q. Now make a list of examples from your
music video that match the recognisable
characteristics of a real music video of your
Now let’s apply a theory
Rick Altman said:
“Genres are usually defined in terms of either certain
signs (semantic) or certain plots and themes
SO....a Pop video
being in love
Make a list of the semantic and syntactic elements of your music
These recognisable codes and
characteristics change over time.
Steve Neale argues that: “genres are instances of
repetition and difference”
He adds that “difference is absolutely essential to
the economy of genre: mere repetition would not
attract an audience.” (1980)
Task: In your group, go back to your list of
recognisable characteristics. Now add what is
DIFFERENT about your music video.
Genres are not fixed. They constantly
change and evolve over time.
Over the years genres develop and change as the
wider society that produce them also changes. This
process is known as GENERIC TRANSFORMATION.
David Buckingham (1993) argues that:
‘genre is not ...simply ‘given’ by the culture: rather, it is
in a constant state of negotiation and change.’
As genres change over time we end up with many sub
genres or HYBRID/ HYBRIDITY of genres....this
means two or more genres together.
1. What did Rick Altman say....?
2. What did Steve Neale say...?
3. What did David Buckingham say...?
Review: What do you know about genre
and how can you apply theories?
1. What is genre?
2. Why is genre important or media texts?
3. How can your music video be applied to your
genre (examples) (recognisable codes and
conventions) What theory can you relate this
4. Are genres fixed? (Theory?) How does your
music video challenge/ subvert traditional
ideas about genre? (examples)
A good essay structure
1. Which project are you going to write about? Briefly
2. What are some of the key features of the concept you
are being asked to apply (genre) Briefly outline 2 of
the written theories.
3. Start to apply the concept (genre), making close
reference to your music video to show how genre is
evident in it.
4. Try to show ways in which ideas work in relation to
your music video but also ways those ideas might not
apply/ could be challenged.