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Genre Theory

The application of genre theory, to a music video, is crucial to the internal

creation and development of atmosphere and thematic validity, as it helps
us understand and evaluate the significance of genre codes and
conventions in proving the video with a sense of gravitas.
Musings on the relation of genre to media

Roland Barthes (1970)

o Engima Codes - Hermeneutic Code: the voice of the truth;
Proairetic Code: empirical voice; Semic Code: the voice of the
person; Symbolic Code: the voice of symbols; Referential Code

Andrew Tudor (1974)

o A genredefines a moral and social world This element
reflects the significance of our own internal emotional
atmospheres, within our video; the dichotomy between
happiness, sadness and the realm in-between. Furthermore,
this thesis is reflected through the morality and social
significance of our main characters point of view.
o Empiricist Dilemma To take a genre such as the 'western',
analyse it, and list its principal characteristics, is to beg the
question that we must first isolate the body of films which are
'westerns'. But they can only be isolated on the basis of the
'principal characteristics' which can only be discovered from
the films themselves after they have been isolated.
o Genre is 'what we collectively believe it to be' (though this
begs the question about who 'we' are).
o First, in that innovations are added to an existent corpus
rather than replacing redundant elements, it is cumulative.
Second, in that these innovations must be basically consistent
with what is already present, it is 'conservative'. Third, in that
these processes lead to the crystallization of specialist subgenres, it involves differentiation.

Steve Neale (1980)

o Genres are instances of repetition and difference.
o Difference is absolutely essential to the economy of genre
o Constant shifting of our expectations.

David Buckingham (1993)

o Genre is not simply given by the culture it is a constant
process of negotiation and change.
o As they grow older, children build on this micro-level
understanding, forming scripts or schemata relating to
broader categories such as genre and narrative. These scripts
serve as a kind of cognitive short cut, for example by
enabling children to predict the likely outcomes of a story, to
assess characters, or to make judgments about what is and is
not realistic. Thus, children develop a multi-faceted genre
system for categorising television programming based on
judgments about form, content and intention.
o Children and young people have identities that don't exist at
all or are constantly changing. He studied their interactions
with electronic media, and he believes that, due to the
constant change of media, identities are constantly changing.
He believes that genre isn't simply given to a young person as
part of their culture, but instead it is constantly being
negotiated and changed. The media reveals the bad sides of
the world and therefore parents keep their children indoors to
hide them from this reality. Due to this, children spend far too
much time around various types of media such as TV's and
computers, and therefore learn too much about the world and
are constantly going through change due to the amount of
views, opinions and cultures that they observe.

Barry Keith Grant (1995)


All genres have sub genres; which means a genre within a

genre. This means that they can be divided into more specific
and accurate categories when targeting an audience
specifically when looking at a more niche audience and not
the masses.

o This allows audiences to identify genres by their familiar

specifics and what becomes recognizable when looking at
characteristics. Music videos fit into a specific genre by using
many features in the video altered to fit the niche audience
and specific characteristics that they want to see.

Nicholas Abercrombie (1996)

o Media producers exploit the genre, reusing genres and
o The boundaries between genres are shifting and becoming
more permeable.

Jason Mittell (2001)

o Genres are cultural categories and industries use their genres
to sell products, using codes and conventions.