Media Narrative Theories

Kuleshov's Theory

Todorov's Theory

Propp's Theory

Levi-Strauss' Theory

Uses + Gratifications Theory

Hypodermic Needle Theory

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  • Created by: Libby
  • Created on: 05-06-13 22:18

Kuleshov's Theory

The idea that the viewer tries to create meaning of an event, and try to make sense of the situation due to the mise en scene.

For example, Lev Kuleshov observed an audience of a short film, they percieved the actor to have 3 different emotions from 1 facial expression: hungry, sad and lustful.

This is due to different objects the actor was faced with: food, a dead child and a naked woman.

Therefore, we piece together the information presented  attempt to understand the circumstance

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Todorov's Theory

This helps the audience access the storyline and engages them as the media has a familiar structure.

Conventional narratives are structured in 5 stages:

1) A state of equalibrium or peace is apparent

2) A disruption occurs due to an action or event

3) The recognition of the change caused by the disruption

4) An attempt to repair the disruption

5) Reinforcement of the equalibrium

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Propp's Theory

Characters in a narrative                                          Process of a narrative

Hero - character that seeks something                    Event e.g.- rule is imposed

Villian - prevents hero's quest                                  Complication e.g.- state of disorder

Donor - provides hero with something                     Transference e.g.- hero leaves home

Dispatcher - sneds hero on quest                            Struggle e.g.- battle between hero and villain

False hero - disrupts hero's success                        Return e.g.- task is accomplished

Helper - aids the hero

Princess - hero's reward

Her father - provides the hero with the reward

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Levi-Strauss' Theory

The idea that binary opposites or conflicts are key to create interest, this is usually shown between good and bad or rather diverse subjects.

Some examples:

females vs males

angels vs demons

humans vs aliens

love vs hate

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Uses and Gratifications Theory

The theory of why people use media and what they should gain from it.

Media should fulfil either:

Identification - to recognise and understand character or situations presented

Education - to learn and acquire knowledge

Entertainment - for enjoyment and 'escapism' to avoid personal worries or issues

Social Interaction - it can spark debates between those who have observed the same media text

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Hypodermic Needle Theory

The theory that ideas are fired into a passive audience's / listener's minds and they are immediately influenced.

This can increase the popularity of a media and is good for advertisements

Mass media can influence large numbers of people, however not necessarily for good, for example Nazi propaganda

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