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Representations
Media representation theory 
• The word representation is a reference to how something is constructed 
such as within mass media. The four main important representations 
consist of Class, Age, Gender and ethnicity. 
• The importance of representation is due to the reception from the public 
who hold different ideologies which can agree with the way someone or 
something is presented. 
• Due to this, producers often construct their characters or places on 
account of societies ideologies. For example, the male gaze theory is often 
used within music videos so that women are presented in a sexualised 
manner so that the audience are forced to view the characters within the 
video from the perspective of a heterosexual male. 
• Semiotics and content analysis are methods of which to discuss 
representation with. Within music videos we often look for meditated 
codes, with a construction of reality. This means that when looking at 
representations, we analyse it through looking at societies ideologies and 
what is deemed as realistic to base our reception of the product on.
• When a representation of a particular gender, ethnicity, class or age group is 
presented in a way which doesn’t match our beliefs shaped by societies ideologies 
there is controversy. 
• For example, these music videos are controversial due to the degrading way in 
which the women are presented to their audience. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrUvu1ml 
Wco 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDZX4ooRs 
Ws 
• The lack of age rating on these music videos is surprising, due to the way the 
artists choose to present themselves in this provocative manner. This poses an 
issue in consideration of the younger generation who are easily influenced by this 
behaviour. If you take into consideration that these women and men are their role 
models, it’s only explanatory that they may aspire to act in the same derogatory 
manner in which these artists do. 
• The video Anaconda by Nicki Minaj is not only the overly sexualised with the 
dancing, but also includes offensive lyricism such as “Fuck the skinny bitches, Fuck 
the skinny bitches in the club, I wanna see all the big fat ass bitches in the 
motherfucking club, fuck you if you skinny bitches. What?” not only does this song 
lack grammar, but offends her fans who are mainly younger teenagers who would 
have this figure.
Women’s representations 
• Being more interested in the lyrical side of music, I find it difficult to comprehend how 
producers and particular artists would choose to portray themselves in a sexualised way. 
Lately, there has been articles by newspapers, stating that ethnicity representations are a 
problem as the newspaper states black women are commonly “reduced to blank receptacles of 
male desire”. 
• I find it hard to sympathise with the women in these videos who present themselves in this 
manner, as it’s technically their own choice to do so. However, I do find it disheartening that 
other normal girls may feel degraded due to the way the media perceives them to be as an 
ethnicity. 
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mAGq9LnUrM This speech by Charlotte Church states to 
try and “Picture … Jay Z, stripped down to a T-back bikini thong, sex kitten-ing his way through 
a boulevard of suited and booted women for their pleasure. You can’t. But that’s the point” 
This shows the difference between men and women’s roles in pop culture today, differing due 
to the male based media we have where usually it’s “middle aged men” telling these normally 
teen girls such a former Disney stars to remove their clothing as they know its what sells. 
• This type of representations aren’t only present in Pop, but also Rock music too. In 2008 on the 
Taste of Chaos some rock bands were told by their record labels to go round and objectify 
women by getting them to strip for backstage passes on camera. 
• This saying of “Sex, Drugs and Rock and roll” is sometimes wrongfully used by rock stars who 
demean women in order to fulfil their title of being in a rock band. When talking about this, 
Gerard Way stated to his audience that if any bane members ask them to take off their top for 
backstage passes to “spit in their face”. This shows how even female fans of rock music can be 
objectified as what is made of them by bad rock bands. Gerard Way from My Chemical 
Romance, is part of a more current rock movement as they don’t live up to usual expectations 
of rock bands which shows a change within rock music, bands becoming less stereotypical.
Male Representations 
• Males within hip-hop music have a large influence upon males in particular in society. 
• A superficial representation of males within hip-hop is a sense of violence, dominance, criminality 
and wealth. 
• This type of behaviour of taking drugs and various other criminal behaviour is glorified in music 
videos, which fans may replicate in order to be like their idol. 
• Other producers such as in the music video Whatever You Like by T.I, the artists appear as the 
financially adept ones while the women appear to be working at lesser jobs such as a fast food 
restaurant. 
• 50 cent stated that No. No. The kids know the difference between entertainment and reality. If not, 
something’s the matter with that kid.” Which unfortunately isn’t always true. 
• Many “Men don’t feel like they are currently being portrayed correctly [by the media],” states Keith 
Richman as many male viewers see their gender portrayed as “skirt-chasers”, “metro-sexuals” and 
“macho-men”. This type of portrayal isn’t correctly reflecting behaviour of males today, as many 
aren’t the sex driven animals in which the media portrays them to be. 
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjXBaDCWuTk This music video of 50 cent creates an impossible 
target for male youths, as they cannot reach the stereotypes set for them such as having a 
disposable income, having perfect physique and being popular with women. 
• These stereotypes in music videos are not only unattainable but creates divides within the male 
gender as those few whom are able to match this stereotype will be better treated than those who 
are unable to, such as in the My Chemical Romance video where a divide is shown between jocks 
and nerds within a high school setting.
Age and Class representations 
Youthful 
Working class 
Wealthy 
Attractive 
Used for advertising the artist in 
magazines and album covers. 
Street cred from coming from the 
streets. 
More desirable, usually pictured with 
women where money is evident. 
The majority of artists are 
attractive as it can be used as a 
selling point, such as young boy 
groups like McFly.
Location 
LA 
London 
Ibiza 
The American dream, usually 
music videos set here are done on 
beaches or near the city. 
Represented as wanting to be like 
America, or used for style due to 
Brit-pop. 
These types of places are known 
for being holiday destinations and 
therefore usually include shots of 
the artist/band partying.

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Representations

  • 2. Media representation theory • The word representation is a reference to how something is constructed such as within mass media. The four main important representations consist of Class, Age, Gender and ethnicity. • The importance of representation is due to the reception from the public who hold different ideologies which can agree with the way someone or something is presented. • Due to this, producers often construct their characters or places on account of societies ideologies. For example, the male gaze theory is often used within music videos so that women are presented in a sexualised manner so that the audience are forced to view the characters within the video from the perspective of a heterosexual male. • Semiotics and content analysis are methods of which to discuss representation with. Within music videos we often look for meditated codes, with a construction of reality. This means that when looking at representations, we analyse it through looking at societies ideologies and what is deemed as realistic to base our reception of the product on.
  • 3. • When a representation of a particular gender, ethnicity, class or age group is presented in a way which doesn’t match our beliefs shaped by societies ideologies there is controversy. • For example, these music videos are controversial due to the degrading way in which the women are presented to their audience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrUvu1ml Wco http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDZX4ooRs Ws • The lack of age rating on these music videos is surprising, due to the way the artists choose to present themselves in this provocative manner. This poses an issue in consideration of the younger generation who are easily influenced by this behaviour. If you take into consideration that these women and men are their role models, it’s only explanatory that they may aspire to act in the same derogatory manner in which these artists do. • The video Anaconda by Nicki Minaj is not only the overly sexualised with the dancing, but also includes offensive lyricism such as “Fuck the skinny bitches, Fuck the skinny bitches in the club, I wanna see all the big fat ass bitches in the motherfucking club, fuck you if you skinny bitches. What?” not only does this song lack grammar, but offends her fans who are mainly younger teenagers who would have this figure.
  • 4. Women’s representations • Being more interested in the lyrical side of music, I find it difficult to comprehend how producers and particular artists would choose to portray themselves in a sexualised way. Lately, there has been articles by newspapers, stating that ethnicity representations are a problem as the newspaper states black women are commonly “reduced to blank receptacles of male desire”. • I find it hard to sympathise with the women in these videos who present themselves in this manner, as it’s technically their own choice to do so. However, I do find it disheartening that other normal girls may feel degraded due to the way the media perceives them to be as an ethnicity. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mAGq9LnUrM This speech by Charlotte Church states to try and “Picture … Jay Z, stripped down to a T-back bikini thong, sex kitten-ing his way through a boulevard of suited and booted women for their pleasure. You can’t. But that’s the point” This shows the difference between men and women’s roles in pop culture today, differing due to the male based media we have where usually it’s “middle aged men” telling these normally teen girls such a former Disney stars to remove their clothing as they know its what sells. • This type of representations aren’t only present in Pop, but also Rock music too. In 2008 on the Taste of Chaos some rock bands were told by their record labels to go round and objectify women by getting them to strip for backstage passes on camera. • This saying of “Sex, Drugs and Rock and roll” is sometimes wrongfully used by rock stars who demean women in order to fulfil their title of being in a rock band. When talking about this, Gerard Way stated to his audience that if any bane members ask them to take off their top for backstage passes to “spit in their face”. This shows how even female fans of rock music can be objectified as what is made of them by bad rock bands. Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance, is part of a more current rock movement as they don’t live up to usual expectations of rock bands which shows a change within rock music, bands becoming less stereotypical.
  • 5. Male Representations • Males within hip-hop music have a large influence upon males in particular in society. • A superficial representation of males within hip-hop is a sense of violence, dominance, criminality and wealth. • This type of behaviour of taking drugs and various other criminal behaviour is glorified in music videos, which fans may replicate in order to be like their idol. • Other producers such as in the music video Whatever You Like by T.I, the artists appear as the financially adept ones while the women appear to be working at lesser jobs such as a fast food restaurant. • 50 cent stated that No. No. The kids know the difference between entertainment and reality. If not, something’s the matter with that kid.” Which unfortunately isn’t always true. • Many “Men don’t feel like they are currently being portrayed correctly [by the media],” states Keith Richman as many male viewers see their gender portrayed as “skirt-chasers”, “metro-sexuals” and “macho-men”. This type of portrayal isn’t correctly reflecting behaviour of males today, as many aren’t the sex driven animals in which the media portrays them to be. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjXBaDCWuTk This music video of 50 cent creates an impossible target for male youths, as they cannot reach the stereotypes set for them such as having a disposable income, having perfect physique and being popular with women. • These stereotypes in music videos are not only unattainable but creates divides within the male gender as those few whom are able to match this stereotype will be better treated than those who are unable to, such as in the My Chemical Romance video where a divide is shown between jocks and nerds within a high school setting.
  • 6. Age and Class representations Youthful Working class Wealthy Attractive Used for advertising the artist in magazines and album covers. Street cred from coming from the streets. More desirable, usually pictured with women where money is evident. The majority of artists are attractive as it can be used as a selling point, such as young boy groups like McFly.
  • 7. Location LA London Ibiza The American dream, usually music videos set here are done on beaches or near the city. Represented as wanting to be like America, or used for style due to Brit-pop. These types of places are known for being holiday destinations and therefore usually include shots of the artist/band partying.