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Dominant Ideologies• Stereotypes are ‘socially constructed’ and exist as ‘myths’ and are neither ‘true’ nor ‘false’ but simply a reflection of dominant ideologies. Stereotypes can be. reinforced challenged or even constructed by the media through representation• The group of ideas that make up the dominant ideology in Britain are not something that remains static- they change as new ideas enter the are encountered and people discuss them. For example one of the dominant ideologies in Britain is that youths are thugs; there is an anti-youth culture
Changing representations – Countertypes• In the Sci-Fi blockbuster film Independence Day there is a character played by Will Smith who is clearly intended to be a positive and strong hero. As such, he goes against many of the previous negative stereotypes of black people in American films. In one crucial scene from the film we see him responding to the danger of an aliens attack by simply kicking it.• In another blockbuster Sci-Fi film - Mars Attacks - there is also a black hero who also responds to the attack of a bunch of aliens by punching one of them. Both of these films were made virtually simultaneously.• The directors wanted a change from the ‘norm’ and they have in fact created a new positive stereotype, a countertype• A counter-stereotype is the reverse of a stereotype. Although counter-stereotypes arise in opposition to stereotypes, they may eventually become stereotypes themselves if they are too popular.
Returning to Mediation• Mediation…what is it?...• The fact that any representation is not a reflection of reality but someone’s version of it• Another way to look at it is through the following theory:• Encoding and decoding model (Stuart Hall) • The media encodes the representation • The audience decodes it…• Therefore your job as media students is to decode TV dramas to understand the encoded message
Activity 1aDraw a table with the following headings and compile a list of what youconsider to be characteristics/adjectives that reflect each gender(strong, dependent, fragrant, vein, soft etc)• Male • Female
Activity 1bAdd to your table a list of objects you associate with each gender• Male • Female
Feminine Representation• Feminism• Representations of women across all media tend to highlight the following: • beauty (within narrow conventions) • size/physique (again, within narrow conventions) • sexuality (as expressed by the above) • emotional (as opposed to intellectual) dealings • relationships (as opposed to independence/freedom)• Women are often represented as being part of a context (family, friends, colleagues) and working/thinking as part of a team.• In drama, they tend to take the role of helper (Propp) or object, passive rather than active.• Men are still represented as TV drama characters up to 3 times more frequently than women.
Masculine Representation• Masculinity is a concept that is made up of more rigid stereotypes than femininity. Representations of men across all media tend to focus on the following: • Strength - physical and intellectual • Power • Sexual attractiveness (which may be based on the above) • Physique • Independence (of thought, action)• Male characters are often represented as isolated, as not needing to rely on others (the lone hero).• If they submit to being part of a family, it is often part of the resolution of a narrative, rather than an integral factor in the initial equilibrium.
Reinforcing Gender Stereotypes• In advertising
Activity 2• Write down a list of the different technical approaches that might be used to construct stereotypical representations of gender: • Camera shots, angle, movement and position • Mise en scene • Sound • Editing
MASCULINE GENRES• Dominant males• Subservient females• Masculine ‘action’• Lack of emotion• ‘Serious’ storylines• Romance controlled• Patriarchal ideology (narrative closure)• Male heroes• Sole characters or characters with one/two side kicks