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Representation theory revision and your case study

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Fergie Ferg

on 5 March 2018

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Transcript of Representation theory revision and your case study

Important representation ideas and theories
Stereotypes and countertypes.

Stereotypes and countertypes are both over simplified representations of a certain group of people, however countertypes are often intended to challenge stereotypes.
Countertypes can be described as "positive" stereotypes.
Stuart Hall's representation theory
Representations in media texts can be....

Reflective - the producers are trying to hold a mirror up to society.

Intentional - A deliberate representation

Constructionist - the producers are deliberately creating a representation through editing and mediation.
Other representation theories
The Male Gaze (Laura Mulvey)
Camera work often positions female characters as a sexual object.
Hyperreality (Baudrillard)
Hyperreality is the theory that because audiences consume so much media. They are accepting the version of reality portrayed to them through the media. We accept the artificial as real.
Representation theory revision and your case study
Representation is how groups of people, places, things and ideas are presented to us by the media.
Remember - even in a documentary or a naturalistic text, you are never seeing "reality. Everything in a media product has been
by producers.
With representation questions you must always ask yourself these six questions:

What/who is being represented?
How is the representation constructed?
Who has created the representation?
How does it fit with dominant ideologies?
Who benefits from the representation?
What has been left out/ignored?
This is a print advert for Marks and Spencers from 2014.
Copy your own version and answer the six representation questions.
Women in action films are often stereotyped as weak victims who need to be rescued.
This has lead to a countertype of action heroines who are strong fighters. Although this could be viewed as positive, if that is the only female character it could still be viewed as an overly simple representation of women.
Why stereotypes can have a negative effect
1. Stereotype is represented in the media.
2. Audience decode the text.
3. The audience maintain a narrow view of that group of people.
Tessa Perkins
1. Stereotypes aren't always harmful.
2.They aren't always about minority groups.
3. People can stereotype their own group.
4. They are not always false.
5. They are not rigid and unchanging.
Goffman's gender analysis (mainly for adverts)

Men are often presented as confident, intelligent and powerful. Whereas women are often shown as submissive and sexualised. They are usually lying down or only parts of their bodies are shown.
Example - Hollywood movies create a Hyper-reality that all women are beautiful and thin.

Example - British newspapers create a hypereality that all muslims are extremists.
Current media issues around representation.
Under representation of minority groups across the media.
And when minority groups are represented it is often in a very stereotypical way.
So for example, Top Boy is a british drama that features lots of black characters.....but they are mostly criminals and in gangs.

Or in The Big Bang theory there is one indian character, who speaks with a thick indian accent and has very stereotypical parents,

This is called "Tokenism"
What is better, tokenism or being invisible?
Another issue with representation is the idea of "whitewashing" that happens frequently in Hollywood productions.

This means that roles that could be played by minority groups are played by white actors instead.
Ghost in the Shell is a film is an adaptation of a japanese Manga comic/animation
The main character, Major Kusinagi, was played by Scarlet Johansson.
In the Marvel comic, "Doctor Strange" a character called the ancient one, looks like this:
In the 2016 movie, the character was played by Tilda Swinton...
Despite a lot of the film being set in Asia and appropriating Asian culture.
In the television show "Arrow"
East Asian imagery and culture is often used to tell the story, however there are very few Asian characters, and the character of Ra's Al Ghul, looks like this:
Hollywood studios claim that they have to think about making money, and there are not many famous Asian actors.
Representation and your case study
Example of a representation case study question
How do the different media platforms impact representations in your case study?
How are people represented differently on the different platforms and why?
How are people/places /things represented?
Why are they represented this way?
Think about audience!
Essay structure
Introduction: Introduce your case study topic and then talk about representation and the three platforms. Why is representation different across the three platforms?
Write a paragraph about each media platform with examples from your case study. Be detailed and consider the effects on the audience.
Conclusion - draw your ideas together into a conclusion,
Exam structure
Section A
Watching unseen text (15 mins)
Answering 4 12 mark questions (1 hour)

Section B
Pick one essay question and answer (45 mins)
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