What does ‘representation’ mean?
The easiest way to understand the concept of representation is to remember that
watching TV programme is not the same as watching something happen in real life.
All media products re-present the real world to us; they show us one version of
reality, not reality itself.
So, the theory of representation in Media Studies means thinking about how a
particular person or group of people are being presented to the audience.
The media represents people in such a way that the
human brain adapts the ways and it sinks in, making
everyone believe that it is the norm “status quo”.
Antonio Gramsci (1891 – 1937). He was an Italian
political theorist. A founding member and onetime leader
of the Communist Party of Italy, he was imprisoned by
Mussolini’s Fascist regime.
He is renowned for his concept of cultural hegemony as
a means of maintaining the state in a capitalist society
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
In “advanced” industrial societies hegemonic cultural innovations such
as compulsory schooling, the mass media, and popular culture have
indoctrinated workers to a false consciousness.
Cultural hegemony is the philosophic and sociological
concept that a culturally-diverse society can be ruled or
dominated by one of its social classes.
It is the dominance of one social group over
another, e.g. the ruling class over all other classes.
The theory claims that the ideas of the ruling class
come to be seen as the norm; they are seen as universal
ideologies, perceived to benefit everyone whilst only
really benefiting the ruling class
Consumerism is a social and economic order that encourages the
purchase of goods and services in ever-greater amounts.
Criticisms of consumption are already present in the works of
Laura Mulvey coined the term „Male Gaze‟ in
1975. She believes that in the film audiences have
to „view‟ characters from the perspective of a
In her most influential book Gender Trouble
(1990), Butler argued that feminism has
made a mistake by tying to assert that
„women‟ were a group with common
characteristics and interests. That approach
, Butler said, performed „an unwitting
regulation and reification of gender
relations‟ – reinforcing a binary view of
gender relations in which human beings are
divided into two clear-cur groups, women
and men. Rather than opening up
possibilities for a person to form and choose
their own identity , therefore, feminism had
closed the options down.
Watch the video and be prepared for some questions
What colour top was he and she wearing ?
What bowling lane was used?
What colour belt did she wear
What colour shoes did she wear?
What colour eyes did she have ?
Why some of you may not have known
the answers to all the questions.
You were too busy looking at the woman