Media Theory

media theory cards

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  • Created by: daniel
  • Created on: 29-05-11 09:14

Hypodermic Needle Theory

Hypodermic Needle Theory 

Meaning is injected into audiences  

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The dominant meanings and ideologies of media texts and culture.

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Signs, symbols and sound such as a red for blood and a knife for death.

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Two-Step Theory


Two-Step Theory 

 information does not flow directly from the text into the minds of its audience unmediated but it filtered through 'opinion leaders' who then communicate it to their less active associated over whom they have influence


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Uses & Gratifications

Uses and Gratifications

Bulmer and Katz

This theory suggests that audiences are responsible for selecting media outlets that best fulfil their needs and that the media outlets are used by the audience to fulfil specific gratifications. i.e Facebook

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Reception Theory

Reception Theory

Stuart Hall

The way individuals recieve and interpret a text, and how their individual circumstances (gender, class, age, ethnicity) affect their reading.

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Genre Flux

Steven Neil

'Genre is in a constant state of flux'

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Binary Opposites

Binary Opposites 

Levi Strauss

Binary oppositions are sets of opposite values which reveal the structure of media texts. An example would be GOOD and EVIL

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Male Gaze

Male Gaze

Laura Mulvey

The act of looking upon women as objects and the media text being created for male pleasure.

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Majorie Fergurson

Chocolate Box

This is a look where a female model shows a slight smile, showing as minimal amount of teeth as possible, the lips tend to be closed and the face isn’t shown full on face forward.


This look which focuses mainly upon the eyes, and mouth which will be closed although the model will be smiling with her head to one side, as if to be looking down upon the invitee.

Super Smiler

When a model is showing this look she’ll show her full face with a full teeth smile with either her head tilted forwards or backwards.

Romantic or Sexual

This look includes both a female and a male in the picture, it will seem as if it is a dream and it should be very sexual

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Signifier and Signified

Signifier and Signified

de Saussure

We understand symbolic signs as their meaning as their meaning is the result of an agreement amongst their users. i.e homosexual men wearing pink

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Queer Theory

Queer Theory

Queer theory suggest that our male or female gender does not control all aspects of our identity or how we perceive other peoples identity.  Gender, particularly as it is represented in performance – on TV, Film etc, is fluid, flexible depending on the context in which it is seen.  

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Roland Barthe

Barthe says there is more than one way to read a text. The text is a collection of ideas, it depends on how the individual reads/perceives it.
Texts can be either open or closed. If the text is open it has lots of different meanings but if it’s closed it only has one meaning.

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Todorov's Narrative Theory

Todorov proposed a basic structure for all narratives. He stated that films and programmes begin with an equilibrium, a calm period. Then agents of disruption cause disequilibrium, a period of unsettlement and disquiet. This is then followed by a renewed state of peace and harmony for the protagonists and a new equilibrium brings the chaos to an end. The simplest form of narrative sometimes referred to as ‘Classic’ or ‘Hollywood’ narrative.

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Vladimir Propp

Vladimir Propp discovered that in stories there were always 8 types of characters evident. These are: the hero, the villain, the donor, the dispatcher, the false hero, the helper, the princess and her father. There are only 8 different character types and only 31 things they ever do. Once you have identified the character type (e.g., the hero) it’s easy to guess what they will do (save the maiden, defeat the villain, marry the maiden etc) because each character has a sphere of action. 

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