Media Key Concepts

  • Created by: Anjalee
  • Created on: 07-01-13 19:24

Media Concepts 1

Realism: Media texts or representations that are credible to an audience.

Reflective View of Representation: Reflects lived reality and mediates it through media language and arrative to share a certai perspective. Reality may be changed to favour power groups.

Constructionist View of Representation: Suggests our knowledge of the world is constructed by media representations. Concerned with who has power to ensure their vision is dominant.

Cultural Concerns: An issue, concern or paranoia that a society becomes preocuppied with or worried about.

Enigma Narrative: Barthes theory that narrative involves the audience by the use of mystery. 

Voyeurism: Gaining pleasure from watching, especially secretly, other people's behaviour and bodies in sexual, intimate or emotional behaviour.

Market-Liberalism Perspective: Politically conservative perspective that stresses the power of audience over media producers, in the market place. It suggests that audience preference decides which media texts are produced. 

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Media Concepts 2

Giddens (2003): We live in a 'runaway world' where cultures, economies and politics appear to merge across national boundaries.

Cultural Imperialism: A process where one country dominates other countries' media consumption and consequently dominates their values and ideologies.

Danny Miller: Viewers use texts to explore some of the social and moral contradictions of their own society.

Digital Revolution: The revolution in the production and distribution of media texts which now rely on the digital codes used by computers and the internet.

Habermas: Dystopian view of new media where the focus is mainly on celebrity and trivia as opposed to forming public opinions and debates on government actions.

Del Sola Poole: Utopian view that new media will facilitate a positive media world with a wider range of media texts which meet the needs of more people in society. Also, it provides individual people to produce media texts themselves resulting in the growth of different media voices and representations.

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Media Concepts 3

Social Learning Theory: Bandura's Bobo Doll Experiment (1963): Human behaviour is learnt by imitating/ copying behaviour.

Morley (1980): -Dominant Reading: Audience shares prefferred reading.-Negotiated Reading: Audience shares some of the embedded ideologies. -Oppositional Reading: Audience rejects prefferred reading.

Semiotics: Study of codes or languages and the signs from which they are made.

Saussure (1983): -Syntactic Level: Identifies the the dominant elements of a text.                -Representational Level: Representations conveyed in a text. -Symbollic Level: Hidden cultural or symbollic meanings that the text conveys.

Liberal Pluralism: Societies are made up of competing interest groups as opposed to one. This perspective suggests that media audiences select and choose media texts.

Two step flow theory: semi-active theory where opinion leaders spread the word about media texts and people share this information.

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Media Concepts 4

Fiske: There is a tendency to read connotations as if they were self-truths. However, connotations are codes which are different within each culture.

Indexical Sign: The assumed relationship between the signifier and signifies; when we see one, we expect the other.

Structuralism: Using a semiotic perspective, media texts can be analysed as languages.

Barthes Narrative Codes: 

-Action Codes: A series of actions fascilitate a viewer to follow the details of a plot sequence.

-Enigmatic Codes: Mystery which maintains the audience's interest.

-Symbollic Codes: Identifying a text's major structuring theme. Often expressed in binary opposites.

Psycho-analytic Themes: Sigmund Freud claims that human actions are often motivated by repressed sexual fears and desires.

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Media Concepts 5

Auteur Theory: Suggests that the director is the author of the film, relecting his/her visual style, themes, values and ideologies.

Post-Structuralism: Plays down the role of the 'author' of texts and instead emphasises the range of different meanings and interpretations that different audiences can create.


Hegemony: Repeated media representations of middle-class people in high positions of power has become the norm.

Chomsky and Herman: The media manipulates to prevent the proletariat from rebelling against the powerful or dominant classes.

False Consciousness: Suggests that the proletariat are not fully aware of the exploitation, explainging why they don't rebel against the ruling class.

Hall: -'The meaning is not in the text, but in the audience reading.' -Polysemic: open to a range of interpretations. -Decoding and Encoding model.

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Media Concepts 6

Foreknowledge: The previous knowledge an audience brings to a media text.

Hyperreality: Where there is no distinction between real and stimulated experiences.

Naomi Wolf: Women are oppressed by the pressure to fit into a myth or false ideal of beauty.

Mulvey's: ‘Male Gaze’

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Psychological, Safety, Social, Esteem and Sense of Achievement.

Propp’s character types

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