Representation Examples


Young People

Daily Express, 9th August 2011 - London Riots

This represents young people in a negative way. The youth in the centre of the image and the flames and destruction in the hotspots (rule fo thirds) suggests that young people are being shown as violent and destructive. Also the use of languagem such as 'flaming morons' and 'thugs terrorising Britain's streets' suggests that these young people are being portrayed as potentially dangerous individuals. This is relatively in keeping with a modern sterotype surrounding young people, which is that they are irresponsible, underachieving and rebellious.

The Inbetweeners (2008-2010)

The Inbetweeners is a sitcom based on the lives of four teenage boys. It highlights the struggles of adolescence with an emphasis of immature jokes and issues with girls, sex and relationships. This is a somewhat contrary view of young people, although it still conforms to some sterotypes that they are immature and quite focused on sexual behaviour. However, unlike the previous example, this representation is evidently used for comedic effect.

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Old People

Alzheimer's Society Website

The elderly population is commonly represented as very vulnerable and in need of care. It is also common these days, unfortunately, for certain eldery individuals to suffer from dementia. This website highlights the vulnerbility that these people feel as they lose their memory and awareness of whats going on around them. This example therefore conforms to the common view of th eldery as they are pictured in need of help from medical professionals and younger generations of relatives.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This film shows four elderly friends starting up a hotel business in India. It challenges the traditional sterotype of the elderly by representing them as perfectly capable individuals who are undertaking something quite extraordinary despite some age-related ailments. Unlike the previous example, the ailmemts that are present are very much used for comedic effect to make the film more appealing to audiences, rather than to actually represent the people.

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Cosmopolitan Magazine, June 2016

This issue shows popular TV star Shay Mitchell on the cover, in some seductive swimwear. This conforms to the traditional idea of how women are presented in glamour magazines, with potentially unrealistic body images. The central image is also surrounded by words such as 'love' and '****' which enforces the idea that the female form is highly sexualised. There are also puffs to articles about losing weight and improving the look of your body, suggesting that many females believe this is something that applies to them and therefore buy the magazine because those articles appeal to them as a target audience.

People Magazine, June 2015

This is a contrary view to the previous example, as the cover girl here is Tess Holliday  - 'the first size 22 supermodel'. Her story is shown on the front page, and says about *** she has overcome bullying and has learmt that 'You can be beautiful no matter what size you are'. This challenges the traditional representation of women as being very skinny as that is the body type that is truly beautiful.

However, it could also be considered that there is evidence of tokenism here, becuase it is clearly evident that her differenve from the norm is being highlighted, so it therefore isnt really restoring the balance between the norm and this minority group.

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James Bond, Skyfall (2012)

James Bond as a character is presented with a very strong physique, evident heroic tendencies and an attractiveness to women. This makes him a man with characteristics that many other men may want, as common issues among men include body image and relationships. The cover of Skyfall in particular shows him mid-action fighting off bad guys and being the hero.

Trailer for Halo 4

A partiular scene in this trailer shows a man in a clearly upsetting situation choosing to hide his emotions from other people. This is a fairly common representation of men who feel that they need to hide their emotions and keep feelings inside in order to maintain a strong, indestructable external image.

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Fawlty Towers, 'The Germans' (24th October 1975)

This paricular episode of the popular sitcom shows the main protagonist, Basil Fawlty, make mockery of some German tourists by imitating former German dictator, Adolf Hitler - something often percieved very offensive to Germans today. There are also a number of racial slurs used, in a slightly seperate context by one of the characters, the aim of which was to mock the upper class Brits of the decade who often werent very accepting of other races and ethnicites. This shows that in the past, racial differences were often used for comedic effect. However, it also shows the changes that have come over recent years, as repeats of the programme now have certain scenes cut or censored. This is because broadcasters, such as the BBC, believe that despite the fact the original episode was filmed over 40 years ago, they must still uphold a modern day standard of respect for different races - showing that today racial differences are much more accepted, and therefore portrayed more postively in the media.

Asiana magazine, Summer 2014

This magazine cover shows an Asian bride all beautifully dressed in wedding attire. This follows a common representation of ethnicity as Asian women, in particular, are often portrayed as very beautiful and very exotic. Although in this case that isnt a particularly negative representation, it does conform nonetheless.

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Issues 1

Body Image

Heat Magazine

Often shows numerous articles on body image in just one issue. It only really highlights the imperfections in photographs, many of which show women, particularly celebrities, from 'unflattering angles'. There are also a number of questions surrounding the images which suggest that because somebody may have gained some weight, it means they are now unhappy. This sort of content may appeal to target audiences, as some women many take comfort from the knowledge that celebrity life isnt all perfect and that they all have some imperfections -  but it still suggests that the solution is dieting and trying to be skinny, rather than being accepting of different body types.

Dove Real Beauty campaign

A campaign by the beauty brand Dove is aiming to take the issues of body image and make it so women especially are a lot more accepting of thier bodies, no matter their size, shape or colour. This is a much more postive view of the issue as it aims to tackle the problem rather than highlight it.

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Issues 2

Global Warming

BBC News Report, 27th September 2013

The headline of a news report said that 'Global Warming is unequivocal', meaning that it is definitely happening. This appears to be quite a negative representation of the issue because although it is a serious issue, the use of advanced vocabulary accompanied with the 'breaking news' implies that something much more drastic has happened. This could potentially spark feelings of fear and anxiety among audiences because it is being portrayed as something that is suddenly very serious, when in actual fact it has been an ongoing issue for many years that people chose to ignore.

Velvet '3 Trees Promise'

The toilet tissue company Velvet launched a campaign that with every tree they cut down to make thir product, they will plant three more. This takes the issue of deforestation, that is a contributor to Global Warming, and creates an active solution. This is, therefore, much more positive than the previous example as it highlights the fact that there is an issue, but also discusses a way of helping deal with it, rather than suggesting that people should be worried.

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Events 1

The Royal Wedding, 29th April 2011

Daily Star, 30th April 2011

This shows the iconic kiss between the newlyweds, alongside patriotic language such as, 'One Great Day to be British'. The issues is also a souvenir issue suggesting that the event is something to be remembered. There is no direct mode of address in the image, suggesting that it is not designed to appeal to a target audience, but simply to showcase the event. There is also a strong use of colour, as the red coudl be considered a representation of love.

Hello! magazine, 16th May 2011

The second souvenir edition shows and image of the new royal couple, though this example shows direct mode of address. This could be seen as looking directly at audiences, as this issue is designed to appeal to a target audience rather than just coverage of the event - as can be seen by the emphasis on style, fashion and exclusive stories. There are also multiple images which show celebrities, which is liekly to appeal to audiences of this particualr magazine, as celebrity gossip is often a feature.

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Events 2

General Election, 8th June 2017

The Guardian, 19th April 2017

The central image is, current Prime Minister, Theresa May walking out of No. 10 with a serious facial expression. The headline is also very serious, 'Give me my mandate', meaning an order or comission to do something. This therefore shows a very serious representation of an upcoming event, which would appeal to the target audience. Readers of The Guardian are more likely to be interested in key political issues and events compared to readers of something like The Sun, who are more likely to be interested in celebrity gossip.

Telegraph cartoons, Adam's cartoon, 21st April 2017

Contrary to the very serious representation in The Guardian, it is common for cartoon artitsts to present such events slightly differently. One example of this is a cartoon in the telegraph, making a mockery of Labour's election policy and suggesting that they are not united, despite claims that they are. This is a much more homourous way of looking at the event, which some audiences may prefer, as politics can be a very serious business that not all want to get caught up in.

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Regional Identity

Geordie Finishing School for Girls

The programme starts with iconic shots of the landmarks in Newcastle, as well as shots of derelict council estates associated with the Geordie stereotype. The voice-over that covers the visuals anchors the images and gives a representation of the region as socially deprived. There are also character profiles on the webite for the programmes which reinforces this representation. Geordie girls are being defined here by their dialect, 'chav' clothing and accents.

Only Fools and Horses

Shows a representation of London, but there are also conflicting representations within it. Firstly you have Del Boy and Rodney, who live in a run down tower block of flats. They don't have masses of money and they run a business from a stall in the town. This is clear from the exterior shots of their flat, and can also be identified through their accent.

Contrary to that, there is Boycie and Marlene. They too are from London, but they are representing a much more upper class view of London. They have a large house, lots of money and speak with a poshness to their tone. The contrast of these two representations is used mostly for comedic effect in this example.

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National Identity

Rugby World Cup 2011 Opening Ceremony

The flags and strips become iconic and carry connotations of hope and pride, and faces of the crowds are painted with national colours. Supporters are emotional and proud of their national identity, as they show happiness through gestures and facial expressions. New Zealand itself is represented through wide angle shots of its beautiful landscape, wildlife and monuments. There are shots of the Haka which reinforce the Maori culture and is a recognisable feature of New Zealand rugby.

Trailer for Sherlock

Iconic shots of landmarks such as the Gherkin, National Gallery and Baker Street. There is also an emphasis on famous London transport, such as the red buses and black cabs. There are also high rise flats in the streets which is very common throughout London. As well as mise-en-scene, we also see Sherlock wearing a long coat and scarf, which is his iconic image, but also fits with the sterotype that it always rains and is cold in London. He also has a very British accent which helps reinforce the representation.

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