A-level Media Theorists


Bell hooks

-Feminism is a a struggle to end sexist/patriarchal oppression and the ideology of domination 

-Oppression is interconnected and media representations play a significant role in marginalising or misrepresenting minorities 

-Media producers should seek to address historical inequality and produce more 'intersectional media' 

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Liesbet van Zoonen

- The display of women's bodies as objects to be looked at is a core element of western patriarchal culture 

-The visual and narrative codes used to construct the male body as spectacle differ from those used to objectify the female

-Representations of men tend to focus upon power and activity, whilst those of women foreground apperance and submission 

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David Hesmondalgh

-Media organisations seek to maximise profit and minimise risk through vertical and horizontal integration 

-The largest companies or conglomerates now operate across a number of different cultural industries

-The democratising effects of the internet revolution have been over-exaggerated, and are difficult to properly diagnose. 

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Steve neale

-Genres provide pleasure through repetition and difference 

-Genres may be dominated by repetition, but are also marked by variation, development and change 

-Genres borrow from and overlap with one another to create sub-genres and hybrid genres 

-Media institutions use genre to increase audiences and profit 

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Roland Barthes

-Media texts construct meaning through a process of signification, denotation and connotation 

-The media has an ideological effect on audiences 

-Constructed meanings can come to seem self-evident, achieving the status of myth through A process of naturalisation 

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Judith Butler

-Our gendered identities are not naturally given but constructed through repetition and ritual 

- Contemporary culture reinforces a traditional gender binary- identities that fall outside of that binary are constructed as subversive 

-The media assists in the marginalisation of subversive identities through absent representation, abjection and parody 

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Paul Gilroy

-Media representations create racial binaries and hierarchies, otherness and civilisationism 

-Black communities are often represented as 'other' to white culture, and associated with criminality and lawlessness 

-The British Empire has left an enduring legacy upon English identity, continuing to inform contemporary attitudes to race and ethnicity in the postcolonial era. 

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Tzvetan Todorov

-All narratives follow a standard structure, moving from equilibrium to disequilibrium to, finally, a new equilibrium 

-Story structures and resolutions have an ideological effect 

-Equlibrium stages construct ideals for the audience, whilst disequilibrium stages represent ideas, values or behaviours deemed problematic, and which need to be overcome. 

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Jean Baudrillard

-Media has moved use from the 'real' to the 'hyperreal' with media proliferation resulting in an implosion of media through the simultaneous presentation of oppositional truths. 

-Media images have come to seem more 'real' than the reality they supposedly represent, creating orders of simulacra 

-We are immersed in a world of images which no longer refer to anything 'real' 

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Claude Levi-Strauss

-Texts can best be understood through an examination of their underlying structure 

-Meaning is dependent upon ( and produced through ) pairs of oppositions, such as good/evil, rinch/poor or western/eastern. 

-Te way in which these binary oppositions are resolved can have particular ideological significance

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Stuart Hall representation

-Media texts use codes to construct representations, which impact audiences' views of the world.

-Media producers use stereotypes to construct narratives and characterisations 

-Stereotyping tends to occur where there are inequalities of power, as subordinate or excluded groups are constructed as different or 'other' 

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David Gauntlett

-Post-traditional media consumption has exposed audiences to a wider range of diverse representations.

-Auidences can use media role models and templates to aid them with shaping their own identities, which are in a continuous process of revision. 

-Media narratives mirror the process of identity transformation. 

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Curran and Seaton

-The media is controlled by a small number of companies and proprietors that make products to create profit 

-Profit-driven media is softened to create mass audience appeal; public- service broadcasting provides impartial news, serves minority audiences and champions unity through inclusion 

-Media adversely affects media content, whilst diverse ownership creates diverse products 

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Clay Shirky

- Everybody makes the media 

-Audiences shape their media engagements, and new media has led to 'everyday communities of practise' which challenge traditional media models of ownership and control. 

-The idea of the passive audience is no longer tenable in the digital age, as media consumers have now become the producers who' speak back' creating and sharing media of their own. 

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Henry Jenkins

-Fans appropriate media texts, producing readings that are not fully authorised by media producers 

-Fans are active participants in the construction and circulation of textual meanings 

-Fans and media makes have converged as a result of digital technology, and fans use participatory culture to effect wider social change. 

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Albert Bandura

-Audiences can acquire attitudes, emotional responses and new styles of conduct through modelling 

-Media representations of transgressive behaviour, such as violence or physical aggression, can lead audience members to imitate those forms of behaviour. 

-violence is an endemic feature of media content. 

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George Gerbner

-Media products can shape audiences' attitudes and perceptions 

-Media consumption can lead audiences to accept established power structures and mainstream ideologies 

-Exposure to repeated patterns of representation over long periods of time can influence and cultivate the way in which people perceive the world around them 

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Livingstone & Lunt

-Highlights the struggle in UK media regulation between the need to further the interests of citizens (by offering protection from harmful or offensive material) versus those of consumers (by ensuring choice, value for money, and market competition) 

-Critiques the increasing prevalence of global media corporations and digital technologies, which have made traditional approaches to media regulation ineffective

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