"Representation is a very different notion from that of reflection. It implies the active work of selecting, and presenting, of structuring and shaping: not merely that transmitting of already existing meaning, but the more active labour of making things mean." Stuart Hall (1992)
Representation refers to the process involved as well as to its product.
Representation always involves the construction of reality from a particular point of view.
- How identities are contructed within the text
- How they are constructed by the processes of production to attract the attention of the audiences
- The reception of such representation by people
Walter Lippmann (1992) defines the ideas of stereotypes and Richar Dyer further explored them:
- Stereotypes as an ordering process: help us to understand the world although sometimes they arent necessarily 'full' or 'true' meanings
- Stereotypes as a short cut: simplifications of meanings- they help us quickley get to the meaning implied
- Stereotypes as a way of referring to the world: they are social-contructs so they are re-representations. They reflect a certain set of ideological values
- Stereotypes as an expression of 'our' values and beliefs: much of the power and steroetypes exist because they appear to be accepted by people in society. And they help 'powerful' people and ideas keep society running
"Representation is the ability of texts to draw upon features of the world and present them to the view, not simply as reflections, but more so, as constructions" O'Shaughnessy & Stadler (2002)
"Hence, the images do not portray reality in an unbiased way with 100% accuracy, but rather, present 'versions of reality' influenced by culture and peoples habitual thoughts and actions" O'Shaughnessy & Stadler (2002)