Media Theory

markt13eduacc
Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

A-Level Media Studies Mind Map on Media Theory, created by markt13eduacc on 05/08/2014.

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markt13eduacc
Created by markt13eduacc over 5 years ago
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Media Theory
1 Audience
1.1 Who is the (target) audience/demographic?
1.2 Why would they want to "consume" that media text?
1.3 Audience Classification
1.3.1 Mass Audience = products created for broad appeal (to appeal to a wide range of demographics)
1.3.2 Niche Audience = a small audience that are targeted to consume a niche media product.
1.3.3 Primary Audience = the main or intended audience.
1.3.4 Secondary Audience = an additional and unintentional audience.
1.3.5 Demographic social grade scale

Annotations:

  • sourced from pdf guide, of which this specific content was sourced from Wikipedia.
1.3.5.1 used in the UK to judge/categorise audience type(s).
1.3.5.2 Grade A - Upper Middle Class
1.3.5.2.1 occupation - higher managerial, administrative or professional.
1.3.5.3 Grade B - Middle Class
1.3.5.3.1 occupation - intermediate managerial, administrative or professional.
1.3.5.4 Grade C1 - Lower Middle Class
1.3.5.4.1 occupation - Supervisory or clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional
1.3.5.5 Grade C2 - Skilled Working Class
1.3.5.5.1 occupation - Skilled manual workers
1.3.5.6 Grade D - Working Class
1.3.5.6.1 Semi and unskilled manual workers
1.3.5.7 Grade E - Those at the lowest levels of subsistence
1.3.5.7.1 occupation - casual or lowest grade workers, pensioners and others who depend on the welfare state for their income.
1.3.6 Other scales are based on audiences' values, lifestyles, political beliefs and activities. This is known as Psychographics.
1.3.7 BARB, RAJAR and NRS count audience figures
1.4 Uses and Gratifications
1.4.1 The belief that audiences passively receive messages is long gone.
1.4.1.1 Katz and Blumler proposed from their research into audience behaviour that audiences use media texts for a variety of reasons.
1.4.2 1 - Information: finding out about events, satisfying curiosity gaining a sense of security through knowledge.
1.4.3 2 - Personal identity: reinforcement for personal values, finding models of behaviour, insight into one's self.
1.4.4 3 - Integration and Social Interaction: insight into circumstances of others; social empathy, identifying with others and gaining a sense of belonging, interaction, enabling one to connect with family, friends and society.
1.4.5 4 - Entertainment: escaping, diversion from problems, relaxing, getting enjoyment, filling time, emotional release.
1.5 Two-Step theory
1.5.1 Opinion leaders like critics, reviewers, entertainment commentators, editors and social networking sites can help shape trends and suggest popularity. The public then become 'opinion followers'.
1.5.2 Two-step theory also relates to political, institutional theory about the elite as the media producers. Opinion leaders represent the views of the elite and reinforces the 'status quo'.
1.6 Hall
1.6.1 Audiences read texts. Hall's RECEPTION THEORY states that texts are encoded for a specific and PREFERRED READING.
1.6.2 If the construction of meaning needs the audience, it is now believed that, at best audiences 'NEGOTIATE' reading as they modify, select and discard parts of the text based upon personal experiences etc.
1.6.3 OPPOSITIONAL or SUBVERSIVE readings occasionally happen when the audience read a text is a way unintended and unexpected by the text producers. POLYSEMIC TEXTS are open to multiple readings.
1.6.4 Anchorage is often used to fix meaning.
1.7 Audience as Product
1.7.1 Through media texts, audiences are delivered to producers as potential consumers for their products. The 'price' that the audience has to pay for viewing their favourite programme is exposure to continual, subtle and invasive advertising.
2 Narrative Theory
2.1 Media texts tell a story. From print posters, adverts, news articles, films, television documentary - all have a narrative.
2.2 NARRATIVE THEORY is concerned with how the story is constructed - from character types, plot organisation, plot development and genre.
2.3 Todorov
2.3.1 Narrative is often structured with:
2.3.1.1 Equilibrium
2.3.1.1.1 Everything is OK, stable, as it has been
2.3.1.2 Disequilibrium
2.3.1.2.1 A problem that threatens the equilibrium
2.3.1.3 New Equilibrium
2.3.1.3.1 a new and slightly altered state resulting from the conflict
2.4 Levi-Strauss
2.4.1 Binary opposition
2.4.1.1 e.g. good v evil
2.5 Propp
2.5.1 He analysed typical character types from fairytales. He believed that most narratives have a variation or combination of these character types.
2.5.2 Character types
2.5.2.1 The villain
2.5.2.2 The Princess
2.5.2.3 Princess' Father
2.5.2.4 The Hero
2.5.2.5 The Helper
2.5.2.5.1 may have magical powers
2.5.2.6 The Donor
2.5.2.6.1 gives objects to help hero
2.5.2.6.1.1 The Dispatcher
2.5.2.6.1.1.1 sends hero on mission
2.5.2.7 The False Hero
2.5.2.7.1 prevents hero in quest
2.6 Barthes
2.6.1 Active audience
2.6.1.1 "The death of the author is the birth of the reader"
2.6.2 Structuralism
2.6.2.1 Looks for patterns across texts
2.6.3 Myth and Ideology
2.6.3.1 Representations within text may mask reality and create myths which support dominant ideologies.
2.6.4 5 Narrative Codes
2.6.4.1 Cultural code
2.6.4.2 Semic code
2.6.4.3 Event and actions code
2.6.4.4 Enigma code
2.6.4.5 Symbolic code
3 Media Language
3.1 A media text = the sum of its many parts
3.1.1 these parts include EVERY element within it...
3.1.1.1 These elements include...
3.1.1.1.1 Camera angles
3.1.1.1.2 sound
3.1.1.1.2.1 diegetic
3.1.1.1.2.2 non-diegetic
3.1.1.1.3 Font (of text)
3.1.1.1.4 lighting
3.1.1.1.4.1 high/low key
3.1.1.1.5 body language
3.1.1.1.6 colours
3.1.1.1.7 These 'elements' are known as MEDIA LANGUAGE
3.1.1.1.7.1 ...also known as Codes or Form.
3.1.1.1.7.2 These different 'codes' can be categorized as...
3.1.1.1.7.2.1 Technical
3.1.1.1.7.2.2 Symbolic
3.1.1.1.7.2.3 Written
3.2 Semiotics
3.2.1 This is the study of the language of signs, which deals with meanings we attach to signs.
3.2.2 SIGNS
3.2.2.1 they consist of...
3.2.2.1.1 the SIGNIFIER
3.2.2.1.1.1 the thing or sign itself.
3.2.2.1.2 the SIGNIFIED
3.2.2.1.2.1 the meaning we attach to the sign
3.2.3 DENOTATION
3.2.3.1 the literal meaning of a thing or sign
3.2.4 CONNOTATION
3.2.4.1 the second level of meaning, agreed by the community but not an inherent quality in the thing itself.
3.3 Conventions
3.3.1 Where signs and codes are repeated over time, they become CONVENTIONS - expected patterns in (media) texts.
3.3.1.1 e.g. rain on a British summer holiday (or any other holiday time in the UK!), conventions equal the 'typical' form.
3.4 Realism

Annotations:

  • Questions to consider: What issues does the construction of reality have for News and Documentary production? How does the element of 'reality engage the audience'?
3.4.1 Media texts have to APPEAR/SEEM to be real in order for the audience to accept them. Even a fictional dramatic 19th Century period drama needs to suggest reality through high production values, by not having an actor taking a call on their mobile during the shoot, or TV aerials in the background!
3.4.2 Where reality issues are also important, is in the News, Documentaries, Confessional talk shows and (of course) Reality TV.
3.4.3 All of these are constructs of reality, some with higher entertainment values than others.
3.5 Reality TV
3.5.1 Symbolic violence
3.5.2 Emotional realism
3.5.3 transformation
3.5.4 Inter-relation with other platforms
3.5.5 A sign of cultural decline?
3.5.6 Rise of Celebrity
3.5.6.1 "Celebrity is produced and constructed by concerted, co-operative action of media industries for profit"
3.5.6.1.1 Stacey
3.5.6.1.1.1 Pleasure gained through escapism
3.5.6.1.2 Adorno and Frankfurt
3.5.6.1.2.1 Celebrities can have a positive and negative impact
3.5.6.2 Dyer
3.5.6.2.1 resonate with the ideas, values and spirit of the time
3.6 Post Modernism
3.6.1 the idea of "layering of old ideas with new ideas, from multiple sources to create something new again.
3.6.2 Post-modern texts may include elements of:
3.6.2.1 Intertextuality
3.6.2.2 Pastiche
3.6.2.3 Parody
3.6.2.4 Extending or re-writing fictional lives
3.6.2.5 Multiple, unreliable and disjointed narratives
3.6.2.6 Reinvention
4 Representation
4.1 ...is how a "thing" (person, place, object, concept) is presented to an audience.
4.1.1 And this is known as a REPRESENTATION
4.1.1.1 The 'thing' has been through a process of modification, mediation and selection before being presented.
4.1.1.2 Even words and photographs are REPRESENTATIONS.
4.1.1.3 The physical shape of a word has no meaning in itself - it is merely lines and curves. It has been given an agreed and accepted meaning. A photograph is not the 'thing' but an image or representation of the 'thing'.
4.2 The central concept - presentation has been constructed and meaning is negotiated or accepted and agreed and so means we can examine representations more critically and analytically.
4.3 Key Questions
4.3.1 What is being represented?
4.3.2 How are they represented?
4.3.3 Who is creating the representation?
4.3.4 Who benefits from the representation?
4.3.5 Does the representation fit with dominant ideology?
4.3.6 What is left out of the representation?
4.4 Stereotypes
4.4.1 ....are representations of people that are repeated over time, and so become a symbol of the group itself.
4.4.2 They are sometimes thought of as a simplification, a shorthand used to rapidly access and conceptualise a diverse 'group'.
4.4.3 Perkin
4.4.3.1 He argued that stereotypes are not 'simple', but contain complex understanding of and information about roles and status in society. He also argued that stereotypes are not always negative and often contain truth.
4.5 Dominant Ideology
4.5.1 IDEOLOGY
4.5.1.1 a set of deep rooted beliefs that impact on a person's actions, expectations and goals
4.5.2 are the widely held beliefs by many members of a society.
4.5.3 In Marxist theory, this dominant ideology serves the interest of the ruling classes.
4.6 Gender
4.6.1 Mulvey's Male Gaze theory
4.6.1.1 Media texts are created as if through the eyes of a hetereosexual male, where women are viewed for the pleasure of men.
4.6.2 Even well into 21st Century, women are often represented in stereotypical ways, either flawed for not living up to the 'madonna' or 'mother' role or admired as an object or beauty or for sex.
4.6.3 Some argue that, far from being equal, women's status has only appeared greater post-feminism, because of women's importance as consumers. They are vital in a capitalist society.
4.6.4 The Bechdel test has three criteria that a media product must fulfil in order to pass:
4.6.4.1 1 - it must have at least 2 women in it
4.6.4.2 2 - women who talk to each other
4.6.4.3 3 - to talk about something other than a man
4.7 Post-colonialism
4.7.1 Representations of the black community
4.7.2 Diaspora identity
4.7.3 Positive and negative stereotypes
4.7.4 Islamaphobia
4.8 Baudrillard
4.8.1 He argued that 'reality' in the modern world cannot exist
4.8.2 The media saturation of society means that all 'presentations' of truth or fact are actually 'representations, mediated, filtered, selected'.
4.8.3 Truth becomes lost and obscured.
4.8.4 He believed we live in a state of 'hyper-reality' that seems real but is in fact a version of reality.
5 Institutions
5.1 An institution can relate to a company or an organisation
5.2 It can also relate to an industry or sector such as the Media or Education
5.3 Finally, you may need to consider wider institutions such as the government, and society.
5.4 Text Type and Ownership
5.4.1 To understand WHY a text has been constructed the way it has, you have to understand WHERE it has come from, what limits and constrains it or gives it freedom.
5.4.2 Text Type or Platform
5.4.2.1 Web
5.4.2.1.1 Google
5.4.2.2 Print magazines
5.4.2.2.1 Hello
5.4.2.3 Film
5.4.2.3.1 Dreamworks
5.4.2.3.2 PIXAR
5.4.2.4 TV
5.4.2.4.1 BBC
5.4.2.4.2 itv
5.4.2.4.3 Channel 4
5.4.2.5 Print news
5.4.2.5.1 The Times
5.4.2.5.2 Daily Mail
5.4.2.5.3 The Sun
5.4.2.5.4 The i
5.4.2.5.5 The Guardian
5.4.2.5.6 Daily Telegraph
5.4.3 Owenership
5.4.3.1 Commercial
5.4.3.1.1 e.g. itv
5.4.3.2 Public Service (PSB)
5.4.3.2.1 e.g. BBC
5.4.3.3 Conglomerate
5.4.3.3.1 e.g. Universal
5.4.3.4 Political Bias
5.4.3.4.1 Left wing
5.4.3.4.1.1 Labour
5.4.3.4.2 Right wing
5.4.3.4.2.1 Conservatives
5.4.3.4.3 Greens
5.4.3.5 Independent
5.4.3.5.1 e.g. Aardman Animations
5.5 Globalisation
5.5.1 Cultural Imperialism
5.5.1.1 A process by which one country dominates the other countries' media consumption and consequently dominates their values and ideologies.
5.6 Political Theory
5.6.1 Marxist theory says
5.6.1.1 a small, ruling, elite group have control, who dominate the poorer, less powerful mass - the workforce, the larger group.
5.6.2 Gramsci took classic Marxist ideas further. He thought that...
5.6.2.1 ...the mass are in a way 'complicit' with the ruling power - the masses accept this power, with the belief that the ruling class know what is best for them. They agree to maintain or keep the 'status-quo' on the condition that they have the opportunity to negotiate or fight against restrictions that they do not agree with. This is called HEGEMONY.
5.7 Hierachy of Needs

Annotations:

  • Question - how do media texts work on fulfilling these needs at each of the stages?
5.7.1 Maslow created his Hierachy of needs which marks the stages of growth in an individual's physical, social and psychological development.
5.8 Moral Panic

Annotations:

  • Questions to consider: How do moral panics help to maintain institutional "status quo"? Who creates them? Who benefits from them?
5.8.1 According to Wikipedia a "moral panic is the intensity of feeling expressed in population about an issue that appears to threaten the social order [and stability]. According to Stanley Cohen, author of Folk Devils and Moral Panics (1972), and credited as creator of the term, a moral panic occurs when "[a] condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests." Those who start the panic when they fear a threat to prevailing social or cultural values are known by researchers as "moral entrepreneurs", while people who supposedly threaten the social order have been described as "folk devils"."
5.8.2 examples
5.8.2.1 schools
5.8.2.2 Youth
5.8.2.3 crime
5.8.2.4 music
5.8.2.5 immigrants
5.8.2.6 gangs
5.8.2.7 social networking
5.8.2.8 computer games
5.8.2.9 Television
5.8.2.10 knives
5.8.2.11 viruses
5.9 Consumer society
5.9.1 Dyer came up with LINES OF APPEAL, that are used in advertising to sell consumer goods.
5.9.1.1 EXAMPLES:
5.9.1.1.1 Happy families - everyone wants to belong to one
5.9.1.1.2 Childhood - desire to go back to childhood or nurture
5.9.1.1.3 Rich, luxurious lifestyles - aspirational to that lifestyle
5.9.1.1.4 Dreams and fantasy
5.9.1.1.5 Successful [in] romance and love
5.9.1.1.6 Self-importance and pride
5.9.1.1.7 Comedy and humour
5.9.1.1.8 Elite people (e.g. celebrities) or experts
5.9.1.1.9 Glamorous places
5.9.1.1.10 Successful careers
5.9.1.1.11 Art, culture and history
5.9.1.1.12 Nature and the natural world
5.9.1.1.13 Beautiful women
5.10 Regulation and Censorship
5.10.1 OFCOM
5.10.2 BBFC
5.10.3 ASA
5.10.4 PCC
5.10.5 Protection or control?