• Created by: holly6901
  • Created on: 28-01-20 11:44

What is representation

  • Representation means the way in which aspects of society and social identity are presented to an audience
  • It includes gender, age and ethnicity
  • It is presented through media language inn specific media products
  • It is also important to consider how issues and events are represented and what effect these may have on an audience
  • The way these aspects are represented will change according to the context of the product
  • It is important to consider the following points when looking at a representation
    • What kind of world is represented by the product and how are versions of reality constructed
    • How and why may particular groups be under or misrepresented
    • How and why are stereotypes used
    • Who is controlling the representation and are their views clear
    • How representations are encoded through media language and contain values, attitudes and beliefs which are common across media products
    • How representations may be interpreted by different audiences and different ways they may respond
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Encoding and decoding

  • The media is powerful so how they represent aspects of society, issues and events links directly to how audiences interpret, understand and respond to these areas
  • Repetition of representation can make it seem 'normal' e.g representation of the 'perfect woman' in women's magazines (Gerbner's cultivation and desensitization theory)
  • The producers' of media products use media language to encode ideas and messages through representations
  • The audience then decode these messages and respond in a variety of ways
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  • The creation of stereotypes is a quick way of categorising groups of people according to shared characteristics
  • Perkins researched stereotypes and concluded that a stereotype;
    • Is a group concept that categorises a group, not an individual
    • Works by exaggerating certain shared features of the group
    • Has features that are recognised and understood, as they tend to be repeated across media forms
    • When stereotypes are negative, they block the capacity of the audience to be objective and analytical
    • Not all stereotypes are negative
    • Communicates the message quickly
    • Can convey the ideas and beliefs of society
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  • The elements of any media text will have been constructed to make a text
  • The finished construction gives an illusion of reality that is accepted by the audience
  • The hours of film have been edited to present a particular view of a character or situation in order to manipulate the emotions of the audience
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  • This relates to construction and selection and is the process a product may go through before it is consumed by an audience. In a newspaper the processes are;
    • The central image is selected by the producer to reflect the message the producer wants to convey to the audience
    • The sub-heading gives a further interpretation through the use of language
    • Within the paper, the editorial may offer further opinion and offering another representation
    • The way the event was mediated through the images, text and representation may affect the audiences' response
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Context and purpose

  • The representation in any media text will have a purpose
  • It will also be interpreted differently by different audiences
  • In comedy, stereotypes are used to transmit character messages so the audience will recognise the character traits. It is from these stereotypes that the comedy evolves and the audience has expectations of how the characters will behave
    • They accept they are not realistic representations, but are created for a purpose
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  • The rise of digital media platforms allows for self-representation
  • Websites, Blogs, Youtube, Instagram and vlogs allow users to represent themselves and regularly update this representation
  • The choices made about which images to upload, what to wear and how to construct the self-representation communicates a message about how we want others to see us
  • Unlike in real life, we can control this version of ourselves
  • Selfies construct a narrative for our lives as we select what we want the image to reflect where we are and who we're with
  • Vloggers and bloggers carefully construct their social media persona
  • These platforms allow under and misrepresented groups to construct their representations
  • The easy access to social media allows minority groups to get their points of view across to a large audience
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