Representation

Year 12 & 13 – Key theories and academic ideas – Representation

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Theories of Representation – Hall

From the spec:

Representation is not about whether the media reflects or distorts reality, as this implies that there can be one ‘true’ meaning, but the many meanings a representation can generate. Meaning is constituted by representation, by what is present, what is absent, and what is different. Thus, meaning can be contested.

A representation implicates the audience in creating its meaning. Power – through ideology or by stereotyping – tries to fix the meaning of a representation in a ‘preferred meaning’. To create deliberate anti-stereotypes is still to attempt to fix the meaning (albeit in a different way). A more effective strategy is to go inside the stereotype and open it up from within, to deconstruct the work of representation.

Theories of Identity – Gauntlett

http://davidgauntlett.com/making-media-studies/theories-of-identity-new-media-studies-a-as-level/

From the spec:

The media have an important but complex relationship with identities. In the modern world, it is now an expectation that individuals make choices about their identity and lifestyle. Even in the traditional media, there are many diverse and contradictory media messages that individuals can use to think through their identities and ways of expressing themselves. For example, the success of ‘popular feminism’ and increasing representation of different sexualities created a world where the meaning of gender, sexuality and identity is increasingly open.

The online media offer people a route to self-expression, and therefore a stronger sense of self and participating in the world by making and exchanging. These media are places of conversation, exchange and transformation:

‘a fantastically messy set of networks filled with millions of sparks – some igniting new meanings, ideas and passions and some just fading away.’

People still build identities, but through everyday, creative practice. However, this practice would be improved by better platforms for creativity.

Feminist Theory – Van Zoonen

From the spec:

In patriarchal culture, the way women’s bodies are represented as objects is different to the representation of male bodies as spectacle.

Gender is performative – our ideas of femininity and masculinity are constructed in our performances of these roles. Gender is ‘what we do’ rather than ‘what we are’. Moreover, gender is contextual – its meaning changes with cultural and historical contexts.

Van Zoonen disagrees with arguments that the internet, being based on collaboration, is a technology that is true and close to women and femininity. These views are too simple and based on the idea of an essential femininity, whereas there is a rich diversity of ways that gender is articulated on the internet.

Feminist Theory – bell hooks

From the spec:

Feminism is a movement to end patriarchy: sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.

‘Intersectionality’ refers to the intersections of gender, race, class and sexuality to create a ‘white supremacist capitalist patriarchy’, whose ideologies dominate media representations. She argues that black women should develop an ‘oppositional gaze’ that refuses to identify with characters – the ‘gaze’ is political for black Americans, as slaves were punished for looking at their white owners.

Theories of Gender Performativity – Butler

From the spec:

Gender is created in how we perform our gender roles – there is no essential gender identity behind these roles, it is created in the performance. Performativity is not a singular act but a repetition and a ritual that becomes naturalised within the body.

Any feminism concerned only with masculinity and femininity excludes other forms of gender and sexuality. This creates ‘gender trouble’ for those that do not fit the heterosexual norms.

Butler is an important postmodern writer and has influenced Queer theory – theory which deconstructs and aims to destabilise apparently fixed identities based on gender and sexualities.

Theories around ethnicity, and post-colonial theory – Gilroy

From the spec:

The African diaspora caused by the slave trade has now constructed a transatlantic culture that is simultaneously African, American, Caribbean and British – the ‘Black Atlantic’.

Britain has failed to mourn its loss of empire, creating ‘postcolonial melancholia’, an attachment to an airbrushed version of British colonial history, which expresses itself in criminalising immigrants and an ‘us and them’ approach to the world founded on the belief in the inherent superiority of white western civilisation.

 

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Gender Debate – Ed Sheeran and Beyonce – a double standard?

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To put Van Zoonen and Butler into some sort of context

https://mashable.com/article/beyonce-ed-sheeran-global-citizens-festival-outfit/?europe=true#XOMUbkeyGqq3

https://twitter.com/i/events/1069962795423125504

Year 12 – Theory Thursday – bell hooks

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This explains it really well!

Year 12 – Theory Thursdays – Representation: Guantlett

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http://davidgauntlett.com/making-media-studies/theories-of-identity-new-media-studies-a-as-level/

  • The media have an important but complex relationship with identities. In the modern world, it is now an expectation that individuals make choices about their identity and lifestyle. Even in the traditional media, there are many diverse and contradictory media messages that individuals can use to think through their identities and ways of expressing themselves. For example, the success of ‘popular feminism’ and increasing representation of different sexualities created a world where the meaning of gender, sexuality and identity is increasingly open.

 

Year 12 – Theory Thursdays – Representation: Hall

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  • Representation is not about whether the media reflects or distorts reality, as this implies that there can be one ‘true’ meaning, but the many meanings a representation can generate. Meaning is constituted by representation, by what is present, what is absent, and what is different. Thus, meaning can be contested.
  • A representation implicates the audience in creating its meaning. Power – through ideology or by stereotyping – tries to fix the meaning of a representation in a ‘preferred meaning’. To create deliberate anti-stereotypes is still to attempt to fix the meaning (albeit in a different way). A more effective strategy is to go inside the stereotype and open it up from within, to deconstruct the work of representation.

Year 12 – Key Concepts – Representation

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Mulvey – Male Gaze

The Bechdel Test

The Female Gaze

Judith Butler – Queer Theory

Hebdidge and Subculture

Bell Hooks and the inconnectivity of race, class and gender

Task:

Create a ‘revision place mat’ to revise all aspects of representation theory.  It should be no bigger than an A4 sheet, so it can be stuck on a desk for later help.  It should have as much information as possible on it.  You can use colour, text boxes and images – it should be helpful to you, but able to be shared with others.

Here are some examples…

mat-4 mat-3 mat-2 mat-1