A2 Media Studies

Explaining A2 Media Studies into simpler notes

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David Gauntlett

David Gauntlett, Making is Connecting (2011)


I mean this in three principal ways:

·  Making is connecting because you have to connect things together (materials, ideas, or both) to make something new;

·  Making is connecting because acts of creativity usually involve, at some point, a social dimension and connect us with other people;

·  And making is connecting because through making things and sharing them in theworld, we increase our engagement and connection with our social and physical environments.

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Dan Gilmor

 ‘In a world of satellite communications and fibre optics, real-time journalism is routine; but now we journalists had added the expertise of the audience.’


‘[…] technology has given us a communications toolkit that allows anyone to become a journalist at little cost and, in theory, with global reach. Nothing like this has ever been remotely possible before.’


‘The communication network itself will be a medium for everyone’s voice, not just the few who can afford to buy multimillion-dollar printing presses, launch satellites, or win the government’s permission to squat on the public’s airwaves.’


  • Government still restricts even though there is a Media:Democracy
  • Reporters are having to fight more (competition)
  • Anyone can be a journalist
  • Cheap access to blogs etc
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Uses and Gratifications


People who watch but also have opinions - they can be critical

make money for institutions by paying for media products

Audience are now considered active rather than passive with emergence of 'We Media'

Audience that produce and consume media (prosumer)

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Access We Media aswell - the voice of the institution is no less prevalent

Prodcue Media

Aim to put foward their ideologies

Generally considered powerful

We Media creates choice 

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Critical Perspectives

Being able to evaluate theories and understanding them but also coming up with their own theories.

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We Media






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Ferdinand de Saussure

Rules of Language

sign = signifier + signified

'Language is a system that represents things'

For Saussure, signs constructed the world because they describe somethnig that is not realllyyy there - something that is conceptual.

'Language is social'

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Roland Barthes

Key thinker in semiotics and coined the idea of signs having a second order or "connotations"

Cultural myth

signifier --> signified --> second order/connotation

bottle of wine --> afermented, alcoholic beverge --> of healthy, robust


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Stuart Hall

Text can have more than one meaning

Signs not fixed or determine by the sender

Can mean a number og things

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Audience Theory

Hypordemic Needle model - propraganda mass manipulation

Two step flow theory


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James Halbran

'We must get away from the habit of thinking in terms of what the media do to people and substitute it for what people do with the media'

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Blumer and Katz (1974)

Uses and Gratifications

The media provides resolutions to users needs

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Melvin De Fleur & Sandra Ball-Rokeach

The Dependancy Theory (1976)

Claims people come to rely on media to make every decissions

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Stuart Hall

Suggests audiences are active

--> Preffered

--> Negotiated

--> Oppositional

Radings of the reception of message and ideology

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Roland Barthes

The audience is active in creating/deciding on meaning

Second layer of signification

The death of the author (1977) 'Author is not were you get meaning'

Texy is meaning not being in its origin (the author) but its destination (the reader)

'The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author'

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Richard Dyer

Star theory and role models

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Theoretical Evalution

Tordov - Narrative Shape

  • Exposition
  • Development
  • Complication
  • Climax
  • Resolution

Roland Barthes - Codes of Narrative

  • Narrative were like woven texts made up of threads
  • Each thread 'code of narrative'

--> Action Code             --> Enigma              --> Symbolic                  --> Semic                  --> Cultural

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Theoretical Evalution

Claude Levi - Strauss

  • Stories and their narratives reflect society's valuse through binary opposites
  • A conflict between two qualities or terms

--> Love - Hate

--> Black -White

--> Man - Nature

Blumler and Katz - Uses and Gratifications

Character & Action = Narrative


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Theoretical Evalution

Erving Goffman (came after propp)

  • Protagonist
  • Deuteragonist (secondary character)
  • The bit player (little character)
  • The fool

Vladimir Propp - Character

  • Villian - struggles against hero
  • Donor - prepareshero
  • Helper - helps in the quest
  • Princess - the girl he wants
  • Her father - the girls father/father figure
  • Dispatcher - sends the hero fof
  • Hero -saves things and marrie princess
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Julian McDougall

A community in which everyone and anyone can participate and contribute

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