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Representation of gender


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Representation of gender

  1. 1. Representation of Gender
  2. 2. Starter Activity • Beth?
  3. 3. Key Questions • What actually does representation mean? • What does stereotype mean? • What does ideology mean? • Who is Laura Mulvey and why am I learning this? • How is gender generally portrayed/represented in the media?
  4. 4. Today’s menu • Beth’s Starter • Men • Women • TV Drama clip/s • Timed paragraph/s • Beach Ball
  5. 5. Representation • Describes the signs that stand in for and take the place of something else. • It is through representation people know and understand the world and reality through the act of naming it. Signs are manipulated in order to make sense of the world. (Barthes) • To look like or resemble. • To stand in for something or someone • To present a second time to re-present
  6. 6. What does this mean? • This means that media texts are intentionally composed, lit, written, framed, cropped, capti oned, branded, targeted and censored by their producers, and that they are entirely artificial versions of the reality we perceive around us.
  7. 7. So why do we pay attention to these biased interpretations of reality? • It is important to note that without the media, our perception of reality would be very limited, and that we, as an audience, need these artificial texts to mediate our view of the world, in other words we need the media to make sense of reality. Therefore representation is a fluid, two-way process: producers position a text somewhere in relation to reality and audiences assess a text on its relationship to reality (your job).
  8. 8. Signs • Signs make help us decipher what exactly is being re-presented. Signs are the smallest piece of meaning we can use to decode meaning. Almost anything can act as a sign and more than one sign makes up a code. For example: • Glasses + bowtie + pocket protector = Nerd
  9. 9. Signs and Codes you need to use • Mise-en-Scene • Sound • Editing • Camera shots, angles, movements and positions.
  10. 10. Why is understanding Representation Important? IDEOLOGIES!!! • Cultural beliefs or a way of looking at things. • Often thought of as common sense. • Things we believe are true but aren’t necessarily true. • Media creates and nurtures these ideas creating possible false truths for us to identify with.
  11. 11. Textual Analysis • Literally means analysing text and in our case the text will be a 5 minute clip from a television drama. • Denotation and Connotation. • What lies beneath the text. What ideologies are being created or reinforced? • How are they portraying the world and different social groups?
  12. 12. Find a partner. Write a list down of all the ways in which you believe gender can be represented.
  13. 13. Gender The representation of men and women. Gender is perhaps the basic category we use for sorting human beings, and it is a key issue when discussing representation. Essential elements of our own identity, and the identities we assume other people to have, come from concepts of gender - what does it mean to be a boy or a girl? Many objects, not just humans, are represented by the media as being particularly masculine or feminine - particularly in advertising - and we grow up with an awareness of what constitutes 'appropriate' characteristics for each gender.
  14. 14. Representation of Women • Feminism has been around for over 30 years yet media representations of women are worryingly the same. Representations of women across all media tend to highlight the following: • beauty (within narrow conventions) • size/physique (again, within narrow conventions) • sexuality (as expressed by the above) • emotional (as opposed to intellectual) dealings • relationships (as opposed to independence/ freedom)
  15. 15. Representation of Women • Women are often represented as being part of a context (family, friends, colleagues) and working/thinking as part of a team. In drama, they tend to take the role of helper (Propp) or object, passive rather than active. • Often their passivity extends to victimhood. Men are still represented as TV drama characters up to 3 times more frequently than women, and tend to be the predominant focus of news stories.
  16. 16. Representation of Women • Women are often represented as being part of a context (family, friends, colleagues) and working/thinking as part of a team. In drama, they tend to take the role of helper (Propp) or object, passive rather than active. • Often their passivity extends to victimhood. Men are still represented as TV drama characters up to 3 times more frequently than women, and tend to be the predominant focus of news stories.
  17. 17. Representation of Women • The representations of women that do make it onto page and screen do tend to be stereotypical, in terms of conforming to societal expectations, and characters who do not fit into the mould tend to be seen as dangerous and deviant.
  18. 18. Representation of Women • America seems to expect its women to behave better than their European counterparts - British viewers adored the antics of Patsy & Edina in Absolutely Fabulous, but these had to be severely toned down (less swearing, NO drug taking) for the US remake, High Society (which was a flop).
  19. 19. Representation of Women • Discussions of women's representation in the media tend to revolve around the focus on physical beauty to the near-exclusion of other values, the lack of powerful female role models, and the extremely artificial nature of such portrayals, which bear little or no relation to the reality experience by women across the planet.
  20. 20. Representation of Men • 'Masculinity' is a concept that is made up of more rigid stereotypes than femininity. Representations of men across all media tend to focus on the following: • Strength - physical and intellectual • Power • Sexual attractiveness (which may be based on the above) • Physique • Independence (of thought, action)
  21. 21. Representation of Men • Male characters are often represented as isolated, as not needing to rely on others (the lone hero). If they submit to being part of a family, it is often part of the resolution of a narrative, rather than an integral factor in the initial balance. • It is interesting to note that the male physique is becoming more important a part of representations of masculinity. 'Serious' Hollywood actors in their forties (eg Willem Dafoe, Kevin Spacey) are expected to have a level of 'buffness' that was not aspired to even by young heart-throbs 40 years ago (check out Connery in Thunderball 1965).
  22. 22. „New man‟ • Post-industrial • Might not be bread-winner • Stay at home Dad? • Accepting of women bosses • Loss of traditional masculinity • Less hairy chest, more sensitive side • Not afraid to cry • Still inwardly strong
  23. 23. Metrosexual • Mix of metropolitan and sexual • David Beckham is metrosexual poster boy • Groomed, well-dressed, well-heeled • Designer label • Urban/ Young/ Capitalist/ Consumerist • Buff, moisturiser, etc • Well off. Job in the City/media/bank/ • Presentational attributes associated with homosexuality
  24. 24. The Male Gaze • Laura Mulvey “Visual Pleasures and Narrative Cinema” 1975 The concept of gaze is one that deals with how an audience views the people presented. For feminists it can be thought of in 3 ways: • How men look at women, • How women look at themselves • How women look at other women.
  25. 25. Features of the Male Gaze • The camera lingers on the curves of the female body, and events which occur to women are presented largely in the context of a man's reaction to these events. • Relegates women to the status of objects. The female viewer must experience the narrative secondarily, by identification with the male
  26. 26. Feminism • Tuchman (1978) representation of women in the media is “symbolic annihilation” (absence or underrepresentation) • Meehan:Men fear women who are independent therefore independent women are shown as bitchy, unfulfilled, unhappy and dangerous. • Machismo and hyper-masculine characters are highly popular and successful in films etc
  27. 27. Group Activity • In small groups you will be given a focus area. • First of all you will write notes alone • After the second viewing you will share your notes with your group • You will then write a timed paragraph responding to the question • We will repeat this exercise until you have analysed for all the areas and completed a full essay. • Remember the marking criteria…
  28. 28. Marking Criteria Consistent evidence from the extract offered.Offers frequent relevant examples from the extract Frequent and Accurate use of media terminology Clear analysis of how the technical aspects are used to construct the particular representation Understanding of the constructed nature of representation 10 Terminology 20 20 Use of Examples Analysis/Explanation
  29. 29. Recap & Plenary • Beach Ball