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Representations 1: INTRODUCING REPRESENTATION
Transcript of Representations 1: INTRODUCING REPRESENTATION
Is it time we learned to worry less about representation?
What do we mean by representations?
Representations 1: Module Introduction
Theories of Representation
The reflective approach
The intentional approach
THE CONSTRUCTIONIST APPROACH
What questions does the study of representations encourage us to ask?
•What/who is represented in a text? What is absent? Who is silenced? •What is the relationship between the different representations on offer in a text?
•How does this text try and position you, the viewer, in relation to meaning?
•Why is one particular representation chosen over others? What are the alternatives?
•Are we being encouraged to think in a certain way about a topic or people? And to exclude other ways of thinking?
•What languages are being utilised? And how might we decode them?
Why is the study of representations
It links into debates about:
The study of representation might involve looking at (for example):
‘One soon discovers that meaning is not straightforward or transparent… It is a slippery customer, changing and shifting with context, usage and historical circumstances.’ (Hall, 1997)
‘No representation can ‘contain' more than a fraction of its real-world subject.’ (Branston & Stafford, 2010)
Things ‘in themselves’ rarely if ever have any one, single, fixed and unchanging meaning’ (Hall, 1997)
The Circuit of Culture
This approach ‘acknowledges that neither things in themselves nor the individual uses of language can fix meaning in language.’ In this view, as we have seen ‘Things don’t mean: we construct meaning, using representational systems – concepts and signs.’ (Hall, 1997).
It implies ‘the active work of selecting and presenting, of structuring and shaping … the more active labour of making things mean’ (Hall, In Briggs and Cobley)
What methods do we use to study representation?
representation cannot be confined to an original, real or authentic link between a thing and what stands for it.’ (Hartley et al., 2012)