Representation Overview of RevisionWrite a short answer to the following:What is representation?How truthful and realistic are representations?What does the term mediation refer to and how does this link to representation?Some useful quotes (learn one and use):„The media is not a window on the world – it is a distorting mirror‟ (John Pilger)„Representation re-presents reality‟ (Dan Laughey)„Representation is not as perfect as a mirror when it comes to reflecting reality‟ (Dan Laughey)„All media exists to invest our lives with artificial perceptions.‟ (Marshall McLuhan)„We are so cleverly manipulated by the media that the truth has become hopelessly lost.‟ (JulesCarlysle)To represent something is to describe or depict it, to call it up in the mind by descriptionor portrayal…..; to place a likeness of it before us in our mind.2. To represent also means to symbolise, stand for, to be a specimen of or to substituteFor (Oxford Englsih Dictionary)REMEMBER: If you use a quote, put it in quotation marks and add the source in brackets after it.
What do the terms dominant representation and alternative representations refer to?What is a stereotype?Useful quotes:A stereotype is “...a fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people.”(Cardwell, 1996).A stereotype is an „economic short cut‟ (Walter Lippmann)Stereotyping is „inadequate and biased…endorsing the interests of those who use them.‟(Lippmann)Stereotypes contain a „grain of truth‟ (Tessa Perkins)„The use of stereotypical representation can be seen to reflect the power relations within oursociety; it tends to subordinate certain groups.‟ (Rayner, Wall, Kruger)What does the term ideology refer to and how does this link to representation?ALL OF THE ABOVE WILL FURNISH YOU WITH PLENTY OF MATERIAL FOR YOURINTRODUCTION
REPRESENTATION TOPICS AND TEXTS:Below are the SEVEN topics of representation you could be asked to comment on. Foreach identify three texts you would use as case studies – note the title and the dateof the text and give a one sentence description of what it is about. Make sure thatyou cover at least TWO DIFFERENT MEDIA in each essay e.g. film and TV, film andDVD cover….TOPIC 1: REPRESENTATION OF GENDERFor this topic, you could be asked about representation of gender (in which case talk aboutmen and women) or you could be asked just about the Representation of Men or just theRepresentation of WomenRepresentation of Men:TEXT 1:TEXT 2:TEXT 3:Representation of Women:TEXT 1:TEXT 2:TEXT 3:
TOPIC 2: REPRESENTATION OF AGEYou could be asked about representation of age generally or more specifically about just therepresentation of young people or the representation of old people. Make sure you know whatmaterials you have:Representation of Old People:TEXT 1:TEXT 2:TEXT 3:Representation of Young People:TEXT 1:TEXT 2:TEXT 3:
TOPIC 3: REPRESENTATION OF ETHNICITYFor this topic we focussed on the representation of black people within UK media. You wouldneed to clarify in your introduction that this was the ethnic group you were focussing on.TEXT 1:TEXT 2:TEXT 3:TOPIC 4: REPRESENTATION OF NATIONAL IDENTITYFor this topic we focussed on Scotland. Again, you would need to specify this in yourintroduction.TEXT 1:TEXT 2:TEXT 3:
TOPIC 5: REPRESENTATION OF REGIONAL IDENTITYFor this topic we looked at London. Again, make this clear in your introduction.TEXT 1:TEXT 2:TEXT 3:TOPIC 6: REPRESENTATION OF EVENTSYou may be asked to write about the representation of TWO events and, if so, should try andlook at two or three different ways of representing each text. The two events we havestudied are The Royal Wedding and The RiotsThe Royal Wedding:TEXT 1:TEXT 2:TEXT 3:
The Riots:TEXT 1:TEXT 2:TEXT 3:TOPIC 7: REPRESENTATION OF ISSUESAgain, you may be required to write about TWO issues – if so, ensure you can write about howtwo or three different media report each issue. The two issues we have studied are the SizeZero Debate and Royal Privacy.Size Zero:TEXT 1:TEXT 2:TEXT 3:
Royal Privacy:TEXT 1:TEXT 2:TEXT 3:Taking it FurtherFor each topic, make a mind map and include the following information:o A definition/ explanation of what the focus of the representation is e.g.gender, ethnicity, national identity…o An overview of the main stereotypes for each group – the most common wayssuch ideas are represented – for example, young people are usually shown asteen-as-trouble or teen-as-fun (Hebdige). Know if these are positive ornegative, traditional or more modern/ progressiveo Note any useful terms linked to this type of representation e.g. tokenism(ethnicity), patriarchy (gender)o Take each text and add your one sentence description of the text and its dateo For each text sum up the way this group/ place/ thing is represented, add sometextual detail that show how this is shown to us, add some comment on the typeof representation (stereotype/ dominant representation/ alternativerepresentation/ traditional/ modern) and some suggestions about WHY thistext has opted for this way of representing this group (this latter is vital foranyone aspiring to a B or above)o LEARN!
Writing the representation essay:These are really easy, if you have learnt everything, as the question is wordedvirtually the same each time and you can, therefore, use the same five-part approacheach time.1.INTRODUCTIONExplain what representation is – define it. Try and ensure you get across the fact it is aconstruction – a built up version of reality and reflects a view of X but not the only one orthe full truth about X. Use a quote to add weight, if you want. Explain how certainrepresentations become dominant through repetition and stereotypes are the most commonof these. Explain what a stereotype is and why the media is so fond of using them. Explainwhat the focus term is e.g. ethnicity, gender, issue and clarify what you will focus on, if thisis required e.g. black people, London, Size Zero and Royal Privacy debates…(Try to ensure this takes no more than 9-10 lines)2. CASE STUDY 1Name the text you will look at first – put the date of release and , if a film, the director‟sname in brackets after the name e.g. Four Lions (Chris Morris; 2010), Fame perfume campaign(2011). Remember, too, that titles should go in quotation marks and be given capital letters atthe start of each word…Give a one sentence summary of the text – its storyline or, in the case of a print ad ormagazine cover, what we can see.Describe the relevant representation, giving specific details from the text to illustrate andprove your claimsSum up the representation e.g. stereotypical or alternative, modern or traditional etcOffer some ideas about why you think this text has represented X in this way3. CASE STUDY 2Do the same
4. CASE STUDY 3Do the same again5. CONCLUSIONSum up briefly what you have noticed about how X has been represented in the text – is itmainly stereotypical or alternative? Does it reflect a mixture of modern or traditional ideas?You may be able to make a general observation – are representations governed by the needsand desires of the target audience and/ or the demands of the text? Do they alter to reflectthe different agendas of the producers? Something like this will just give your essay astrong finish.FINAL TIPS:This plan will work well for a Question 3 essay on representation where it is worth 30 marksand you have the full 35-40 minutes to work on it. You should be able to cover all three texts.If you get this question for the 2(c ) question, where it is worth 16 marks, then you may needto pare this down to looking at two case studies and you would also need to shorten your introa little bit.Do remember to ensure you cover texts from at least two different media – you can covertwo films and a music video; a film, a telly programme and a trailer for a video game… as longas two of your examples are from different types of text. A film and a DVD cover for a filmclass as two different media.NOTE: look on the Representations MS1 blog – there are copies ofmany of the texts we have studied and a post on each of therepresentation topics.