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  1. 1. Representation
  2. 2. Why are the Media called the Media?
  3. 3. Because they MEDIATE our view of reality. Producers Reality Texts Audiences
  4. 4. Constructions of Reality • • • • How might the following media construct rather than reflect reality? TV News programme (by selecting which stories to “run” and which to ignore). TV crime drama A website for a charity A lifestyle magazine
  5. 5. Representation – some definitions • Representation is the ability of texts to draw upon features of the world and present them to the viewer, not simply as reflections, but more so, as constructions (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler 2002). Hence, the images do not portray reality in an unbiased way with 100% accuracy, but rather, present ‘versions of reality’ influenced by culture and people’s habitual thoughts and actions (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler 2002).
  6. 6. Representation of Social Groups • We often analyse representations in the media according to categories such as: • Age • Disability • Gender • Socio-economic grouping • Race • Nationality • sexuality
  7. 7. Ideology • An ideology is a belief system that is constructed and presented by a media text. • Media texts represent the world in order to support a dominant ideology. • For example, newspapers often promote the dominant ideology of patriotism through their representation of race and nationality.
  8. 8. Some Dominant Ideologies • Capitalism. The production of capital and consumption of surplus value as a life goal. • Patriotism. To love, support and protect one’s country and its people. • Marriage and family. The “right way” to live is to marry an opposite-sex partner and have children. • Male superiority. Men are more suited to positions of power, and more suited to decision-making at work and at home.
  9. 9. Dominant Ideologies around the world • Many dominant ideologies are extremely culturespecific. For example: • Christian fundamentalism as a political force in the USA • Shariah law is some Muslim countries • The principle of individual freedom in the Netherlands • Dominant ideologies are central to people’s belief systems. It is often difficult or impossible to challenge them effectively.
  10. 10. Hegemony • Hegemony is the way in which those in power maintain their control. • Dominant ideologies are considered hegemonic; power in society is maintained by constructing ideologies which are usually promoted by the mass media.
  11. 11. Examples of hegemonic values • • • • • The police are always right It is important to be slim A credit card is a desirable status symbol Mass immigration is undesirable The poor are lazy and deserve their hardship • Men are better drivers than women • It is important to wear fashionable clothes
  12. 12. Stereotypes • Stereotypes are characters in a media text who are “types” rather than complex people. • Stereotypes are often defined by their role, such as “bad cop” or “nice old lady”. • Children’s media texts often use stereotypes so a young audience can identify quickly with the characters. • Stereotypes are usually negative representations, considered to be too reductive. Many are considered offensive, such as a “drunken Irishman”, a “fanatical Muslim” or an “over-emotional woman”.
  13. 13. Extension/restriction of our experience of reality • By giving audiences information, media texts extend experience of reality. • Every time you see a media text, you extend your experience of life but in a second-hand way (vicarious). • However, because the producers of the media text have selected and constructed the information we receive, then our experience is restricted.
  14. 14. Add your own definition of: • • • • Hegemony Ideology Representation Stereotype to your technical glossary
  15. 15. Advert analysis • How would you analyse this image? • Who is represented and how?
  16. 16. The Sophie Dahl “Opium” Ad Expensive, aspirational accessories Exposed nipple – a broken taboo Purple velvet – connotes royalty & luxury Idealized female form enhanced using Photoshop Sexually submissive pose
  17. 17. Get used to looking at the images from different media texts Who is being represented and how? Is it a positive or negative representation? Does it conform to a stereotype? Does it demonstrate any dominant ideologies/hegemonic value?
  18. 18. “Sony PSP – Now in White”
  19. 19. When watching TV drama ask yourself • Who is represented in this clip? • Is there any dominant idelogies/hegemonic values present?
  20. 20. Shameless
  21. 21. Make sure you know Your definition of: •Hegemony •Ideology and •Representation And that’s its on your blog. It needs to be in your own words.