Example age essay


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Example age essay

  1. 1. With reference to your own detailed examples discuss how age is represented in the media today. Representation is the process of selection and omission. The media construct representations through the use of visual, technic and/or audio codes. Each representation can be considered to be a partial and selective view based on the intentions of the media. Age can be represented to position an audience, to construct a narrative and offer a sense of identity, amongst other things. The opening of the film, Harry Brown, represents age in order to position the audience against young people and to see old people as frail and vulnerable. The film opens with a long shot of a group of youths, occupying a subway. The audience are drawn closer with the use of medium close ups and close ups of different gang members. The audio code of the register of language used suggests they are from London and they are initiating a new group member. Close ups of drug taking and a hand gun are used to represent the youths in an anti-social and aggressive way. A hand-held camera is used to create a sense of realism. The lighting is dark in the subway and the identities of the group are mainly concealed, which creates mistrust. There is a cut to a scene of two of the youths driving around the walk ways of a council estate. A fast moving tracking shot from the bike emphasises a sense of danger to the youths and also to others. Fast paced editing of a series of point of view shots, from the youths point of view, suggests they live a chaotic and reckless lifestyle. A long shot is used to show a mother pushing a pram through the estate. The youths draw a hand gun and start to fire at her from the motorbike until she is hit. The mother and child represent innocence and vulnerability. This represents youth as aggressive, out of control and brutal. In the media the demonization of youth is a stereotype. Stereotypes are used to create a shot cut to the understanding of characters and narrative. They also position the audience. In this case the audience are positioned against this representation of youth. The representation of old age that is constructed after the opening credits contrasts with the representation of youth. The pace of the editing is far slower suggesting that life at this age is of a slower pace. There is a close-up of the protagonist lying, in bed next to and untouched pillow, and a long shot of him eating breakfast at a table for two, but one chair is unoccupied. This suggests old age is a time of loss and loneliness. There is a long shot of him taking his inhaler that suggests old age is a time of ill health. There is a medium shot of him carefully adjusting his tie, in the mirror, that suggests old people dress formally and take pride in their appearance. Audio codes of a dripping tap, and the wiping of a kitchen work surface with a cloth further construct a sense of loneliness as the quietness of his world is emphasised.
  2. 2. This representation positions the audience to feel sorry for him and see him as vulnerable and in need of protection. The representation of age in Harry Brown is used to construct binary oppositions in the narrative. The two age groups will come into conflict later in the film and the audience has been positioned to be on the side of the older man. Binary oppositions of age are also created in the McDonalds Parallel Lives TV. advert. Again youth and old age are represented in a way to construct the narrative. However the aim of this text is to build a brand image for McDonalds so the age groups are seen to be in harmony instead of being in conflict. The advert features a group of youths and an older man and makes an intertextual reference to Harry Brown. The age groups are represented as being different and the same. The advert opens with the youths, out on the street listening to modern music. However the diegetic sound of them laughing and joking creates a friendly mode of address. This is juxtapostioned with a close-up of a vinyl record playing and then cuts to the old man in his flat, listening to jazz music. This structure is continued throughout the advert. The youths are seen playing on a computer console which is contrasted to the man playing snooker. The youths are seen at home, cutting each other’s hair with clippers, which is contrasted to the old man sitting in a barber’s chair. Each scene uses different music, either modern or older to represent age. There are further comparisons to the style of dress between the age groups. The resolution of the narrative is made at the end in a McDonald’s restaurant. An over-the- shoulder shot is used to show the group of youths enjoying a McDonalds with the man seen in the background. There is a cut to a close-up of the man looking over at the youths. This cuts to a close-up of one of the youths looking over at the man. He sees he is eating the same food and smiles back. This creates a bond between the age groups and gives the narrative a warm and up-beat ending. Representations of age in the media can also offer the audience a sense of identity. For example on the cover of Seventeen magazine, the medium shot of a female model leaning towards the camera to shows off her long, flowing a hair and emphasise the make- up on her face , can be seen. She is wearing a crop top that reveals part of her body. This creates an
  3. 3. ideology and suggests that female teenagers should take care of their appearance and will be judged on it. There is a variety of different fonts used that are placed at different angles and positions on the cover. The large amount of sell lines suggests that teenage life is busy, full and chaotic. Most of the sell-lines are about what clothes to wear and relationship advice. The colours used are yellows and pinks which further construct a feminine stereotype of age. The ideology encourages the audience to see this representation as something to accept and up-hold its values. In conclusion, the media is able to represent age in a in many different ways and can achieve different outcomes such as positioning the audience, targeting and audience to sell a product and off the audience an identity through the ideology it offers.