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Theories for representation


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media - representation theories

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Theories for representation

  1. 1. Representation NASEHA YASMIN
  2. 2.  ‘Let’s Restart’ music video, is what my group and I have established as our coursework production, and it consists of a female actress, who is singing about lost love and how to rekindle her romance with her love interest, a male. Immediately, we can apply Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, in particular, the psychological needs can be applied, ‘belongingness and love needs: intimate relationships, friends.’ This is relevant to our coursework production of the music video, as the actress provides an audience with a range of emotions and this is all due to her love relationship with her partner. Whether the emotion, is happiness, pain or regret, these are all feelings and emotions that viewers can relate to and music videos evoke emotions from audience members.
  3. 3. Richard Dyer’s Star Theory  Dyer proposes that a star is an image, not a real person, that is constructed out of a range of materials. He developed the idea that the viewer’s perception of a film, a music video, etc. is heavily influenced by the perception of its stars.  One of the reasons so many pop performers are described as pop stars, is the fact they are quickly promoted to this status by their management – stars are made for money purposes alone. Increasing brand identity, for example, can benefit the institution, thus increasing sales in media platforms.  His theory coincides with hegemony – the idea that the audience relate to the star because they have a feature they share or admire about the star. This then leads to some fans replicating the star’s behaviour and actions.
  4. 4. Richard Dyer: Typography of Representation  He describes the typography of representation as consisting of: 1. re-presentation, which consists essentially of media language, the conventions that are used to represent the world to the audience 2. being representative of – stereotypes 3. who is responsible for the representation – considering how the institution creating a media text influences representation 4. what the audience thinks is being represented to them
  5. 5. Berger: Ways of Seeing  Berger analyses the manner in which men and women are culturally represented. Women are generally posed in a way to please the viewer, her gaze is meant to entice an audience, which is very relevant in today’s society, with various advertisements, etc.  Berger argues that a man’s presence is all about supremacy and is related to what he can do, power and ability, whereas, a woman’s presence is undermined – women are reduced to commodities.  This theory focuses on the way people view what is exposed to them, the influences it can have on society.
  6. 6. Berger: apply to our work It can be argued that within our music video, there is evidence of the female being the more passive individual as there are scenes whereby she is emotional, or walking alone, looking upset. However, if we look beneath the surface, the underlying meaning of why she wants to ‘restart’ their relationship, is because she did something wrong, not the male – which to an extent, can be seen as subordinate as why is it that the woman is apologising, however, when we notice breakups in music videos, we assume it is the male who causes it.
  7. 7. Laura Mulvey: Male Gaze Theory • The concept of gaze is one which deals with the way an audience perceives people they are exposed to on screen • Mulvey established this theory in 1975, as she believes the representation audiences see of women are dominated by males and solely used to benefit patriarchal society. Women are seen as ‘passive,’ and are portrayed in derogatory ways in media, whether it be film or music, in order to please a male audience. Not only does this influence men, but women as well – women feel insecure for being exposed to such ‘idealised’ depictions of women and feel the need to look the same. It is corrupted as it undermines women as a whole.
  8. 8. Mulvey: apply to our work  Within our music video, we try to portray our female actress as one to conform to the indie pop style and stereotype; in casual clothing but including scenes, whereby she is dressed more glamorously. It can be argued that this is all done in order to please male audience members, as the female should be visually appealing. Perhaps, many female audience members watching would desire to look and appear like the female actress within our video. This all coincides with Mulvey’s male gaze theory, as men wish to be with the female and women want to be the female. It can be argued that our music video conforms to Laura Mulvey’s ‘male gaze’ theory to an extent, as we do have pan shots that show the audience members and viewers the curves of the female actress, thus creating the representation that the man should pursue the woman. However, due to our genre, indie pop, we ensured to avoid explicit images of the female’s body as it is not always typical to find this in an indie pop music video.
  9. 9. Andrew Goodwin: Theory on Music Videos • Music videos tend to include a demonstration of typical genre characteristics • For example: a video of a stage performance is typical for a metal video, a dance routine typical for a boy/girl band and flashy sports cars in a rap video • Music videos can also link to film genres, this is know as intertextuality. e.g. many heavy rock songs are influenced by horror films
  10. 10. Goodwin: different conventions  A relationship between the lyrics and the visuals, which illustrate, amplify or contradict the lyrics.  Link between music and visuals; complimentary, contradicting, amplification  Intertextual references; branding  Notion of looking: angles used for focus e.g. close ups, pans  Voyeurism; direct gaze, insight into artist’s life, screens and mirrors  Demands of the record label