Media AQA exam

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Advertising technical terms

Brand logo: by which the audience can recognise not just the product but the associations such as cost/quality ideologies

Advertising slogan: A phrase to capture a unique selling point (USP)

Housestyle: Colours, compositions that are particular to the advertising campaign and the audience may become familliar with.

Anchoring text: The images or text that anchor the meaning of the text.

Polysemic readings- open or closed meanings of the text.

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Ideologies: a set of values, beliefs and ideas that guide our lives.

Personal ideologies: such as religious or political beliefs.

Dominant ideologies: shift and change over time in tune with how society changes. They represent beliefs of powerful groups, e.g. government, law, family, religion.

Microcosm: society of a smaller scale.

Hegemony: refers to winning consent by the ruling group largely through media representation of the world education, work and family.

Producing ideologies: symbolic codes and signs which represent and explain cultral ideas -> semiotic codes-media texts employ signs and symbols to convey meaning as a part of the narrative.

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Readings of texts

Dominant reading: readers fully share texts codes and accept the intended reading.

Negotiated: viewer may partially accept the codes of the text but may be critical of certain aspects.

Oppositional: intended viewer understands intended reading of a text but rejects it and is critical of it and its producers.

Explicit meanings: The foreground of an image or a representation that we are intended to see without difficulty.

Implicit: Subtler message that can be read in different ways.

Sub-text: the meaning can be read in to a text and can often stem from criticism- they are often a matter of debate and can be continuous,  

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Toderov's theory: A media text starts with equilibrium (opposing forces in balance) -> disequilibrium (by an event and followed by a chain of events -> the media text ends with re-equilibrium (a resolution).

These theories actually reflect dominant ideologies of "happy endings" and power relations.

Propp's character theory: The villain (struggles against the hero),The donor (prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object), The (magical) helper (helps the hero in the quest), The princess (person the hero marries, often sought for during the narrative), Her father, The dispatcher (character who makes the lack known and sends the hero off), The hero or victim/seeker hero, reacts to the donor, weds the princess.
Lvi Strauss- Binary oppositions
Roland Barthes- Enigma codes, semiotic codes
Enigma code: Makes the viewer want to continue watching                                Narrative hook: Anything that hooks the audience.

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Story: what happens

plot: part of the story we actually hear, read or see

narration: how it is told

Narrative: A way of organising spatial and temporal data into a cause/effect chain of events with a begining, middle and end that embodies a judgement on the nature of events.

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Joseph Campbel "hero's theory"


  • The call to an Adventure; everything is about to change.
  • Refusal of the call; at first the hero is reluctant or challenged. 
  • Supernatural aid- guide/ helper appeals.
  • The crossing of the first threshold into the unknown.
  • The belly of the whale- a symbolic death or low point, completely cut off from his old way of life.
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Joseph Cambel- "hero's theory"


  • The road of trials- a series of tests or ordeals
  • Meeting with the Goddess- an all-powerful, unconditional love or union of opposites
  • Women as temptress- the hero is tempted by a weakness to stray from his journey
  • Atonement with the father- a confrontation with an ultimate power.
  • Apotheosis- the hero reaches a higher state of being.
  • The ultimate boon- the achievment of the quest, but what now?
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Joseph Cambel- "hero's theory"


  • Refusal- who needs a normal life?
  • Magic flight- sometimes the hero has to flee with the boon (gift).
  • Rescue from without- the hero has a guide/helper who gets him back to everyday life.
  • Crossing the return threshold: reconciling his knew being with the person he used to be.
  • Master of the worlds- achieving balance.
  • Freedom to live- mastering the fear of commitment/ depth.
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other terminology

Convergence: media platforms no longer exist in isolation but they unite/blend
Synergy: where texts synergise (work inherently together)
Lighting: ambient or artificial
Mediation: everything in the media is only a version of the truth- construction
Hypodermic syringe theory: a passive audience believes what the media wants them to believe
Culmination theory: The audiences are desensitised to something (e.g. when audiences are desensitised to violence, media texts become more violent to continue to  shock audiences.
A star- known for what they can do. A celebrity: known better for their personality

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Jayna Maya

cultivation theory is when someone is more likeley to believe something if they hear it more than once

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