Applying theory to case studies 1


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Applying theory to case studies 1

  1. 1. Media and collective identity First thing to deal with is this idea of identity being ‘mediated’: One definition of ‘mediation’ – ‘a negotiation to resolve differences’ is useful as it introduce the idea of us using negotiated readings of media to help us construct media. So not taking the messages at face value but understanding them in context and using our own experience.
  2. 2. Stuart Hall’s Audience Reception Theory • Preferred/dominant reading- when an audience accepts the message encoded in the text • Negotiated reading- where an audience largely accepts what is encode in a text but draws on sociological and cultural contexts, personal experiences and opinions in order to create meaning • Oppositional- when an audience rejects the encoded message
  3. 3. Take a look at this Macdonald’s advert. Write a sentence or two about how an audience could adopt each reading. Preferred people will regularly choose a Big Mac for lunch Negotiated People will occasionally buy a Big Mac as a treat Oppositional People will not eat at MacDonald’s because they think it is unhealthy
  4. 4. Stuart Hall in summary Audience reception theory suggests that audiences don’t just accept what is in front of them, but are actually involved with creating meaning as it relates to their own personal experiences
  5. 5. Using a case-study that you have looked at, write a paragraph which analyses how different audiences might interpret the text. Think about: • Who is being represented and how might they read it? • How might a person outside of this social group read the text?
  6. 6. All media texts are mediated. They are carefully selected and constructed in order to create meaning. If the way audiences interpret meaning is also mediate, how can identity, especially collective identity, be constructed?
  7. 7. Roland Barthes He theorized that mythologies are formed to perpetuate an idea of society that adheres to the current ideologies of the ruling class and its media. He argues that an audience looks for signs to help them interpret what they see. • The signifier- a word, image, symbol, etc that can be interpreted • The signified- the message behind the signifier • The sign- the meaning, how we interpret the combination of the signifier and what is signified (the sum of the signifier and the signified).
  8. 8. Think of the red light in a set of traffic lights Identify • The signifier: the red light • The signified: that you cannot continue to drive your car any further • The sign: you must stop the car because it is dangerous to continue and you will endanger yourself and others.
  9. 9. Barthes’ example The young boy is the signifier. What is signified is that France is a great multi-cultural nation. He argues that ‘the picture does not explicitly demonstrate 'that France is a great empire’ but the combination of the signifier and signified perpetuates the myth of imperial devotion, success and thus; a property of 'significance' for the picture (the sign)
  10. 10. Choose a case study that you have looked at and write a paragraph which draws upon Barthes’ theory. Think about how an image, symbol, scene, characters, elements of the mise-en-scene are used to create meaning and how these become signifiers. Things to consider: Collective identity- youth The words ‘feral’ ‘yobs’ ‘hoodies’- these words act as anchors for the images that they accompany, the rap in ‘Top Boy.’ Collective identity- gay men The male body in ‘A Single Man’, the gun, or the suit.