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Representation theory - Theorists

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Lauren Larkins

on 10 October 2013

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Transcript of Representation theory - Theorists

Representation Theory - Theorists
Levi Strauss - 1958
Binary Opposites
Laura Mulvey - 1975
Laura Mulvey's theory on feminism includes 'The Male Glaze' meaning men look at women for their own
pleasure,otherwise known as 'Voyerisum'.

There are three things included in the theory:
1) How men look at women
2)How women look at themselves
3) How women look at other women
John Berger's - 1972
Ways Of seeing
Berger also believes in 'Voyerism' as he looked at the way men and women are culturally represented and how different 'gazes' show different ways in which they are looked at. He states that 'men act women appear' - men look at women and women watch themselves being looked at. Women are usually posed for pleasure.
Tessa Perkins- 1979
Richard Dyer - 1983
The representation theory states that everything has got a representation behind it and media texts represent themselves to society and an audience in terms of ideology. Everything has ideology behind it and how we interpret the media is on our own basis.
How I will use these theories.
These theories all contain elements that give me an insight into how existing media products are created in terms of representation, binary opposites, stereotypes and voyerism and how they are successful and effective. I will use some aspects of these theories when creating my own music video as I agree with all of the theories yet may chose to challenge them also. Binary opposites is particularly a theory that I fully support as it is existing and is visible when watching media products.
Levi Strauss said that in the media we have binary opposites, for example: black and white, good and evil, and it is our understanding of these binary opposites that help us to understand a narrative before it has even begun. Having Binary Opposites enables climax within the narrative. According to Levi Strauss the concept of binary opposites in used frequently as it works on the basis of our understanding of a story, it is a conventional narrative and enables equilibrium, It also links heavily with our ideological values - our understanding and beliefs.
However some media products challenges the stereotypes of binary opposites and have the expected 'baddy' as a 'goody' for example in Lady Gaga's video Judas and Harry Potter.
The Male Glaze includes:
-Emphasizing on the curves of the female body,
-Referring to women as objects
-Women display themselves how they should be perceived
-Female viewers view the content through the males eyes.
The "ideal" spectator is always assumed to be male and the images of the women are designed to flatter him.
Jib Fowles supports Berger's theory by stating - "in advertising males gaze and females are gazed at", implying that they believe in the media that is what women are their for.
Perkins states that stereotyping is not simply a process and contains a number of assumptions that can be challenged.
5 such assumptions:
-not always negative
-They are not always about minority groups or
the less powerful
-They can be held about one's own group
-They are not rigid or unchanging
-Not always false.
The theory states that as society changes it is harder for stereotypes to change as they stick in society. Not all stereotypes are bad, not all are good and we categorize ourselves.
'How we are seen determines how we are treated, how we treat others is based on how we see them. How we see them comes from representation'.
Everybody can interpret a given representation in a different way and these representation are often illustrated within the mise-en-scene and the narrative.
Full transcript