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Two contrasting characters are

presented to the audience as
complete opposites – one often
stronger than the other
Examples?

A person, place or event is
presented to the audience as reality
Examples?

A female character is presented to the
audience as attractive and weaker than
males

Examples?

A female character is doing something
very stereotypical for her gender

Examples?

Representation
Representation

Representation

Learning Objectives
• I can explain the concept of
representation
• I can investigate how gender is
represented in the thriller genre

What is representation?
Write your own definition

The media do not just offer us a transparent ‘window
on the world’ but mediated version of the world.
They don’t just present reality, they re-present it

e
h
T

ev

t
n
e

Yo
u

Events, people,
Mediation
places & objects can
TV & film companies, magazines,
all be re-presented
radio stations & music producers
all use mediation to re-present to

rR
E
of PR
t h ES
E
e
ev N T
en AT
IO
t
N

IN A
NUTSHELL!

Representatio
n

All media products are re-presentations
of reality.
They portray how and what they want us
to believe is reality.
This means that they are intentionally
produced in a way to be artificial (fake)
versions of the reality that we see
around us.

Definitions
• The description or portrayal of someone
or something in a particular way.
• Something (such as a picture or symbol)
that stands for something else
• The ways in which the media portrays
particular groups, communities,
experiences, ideas, or topics from a
particular ideological or value
perspective.

For example
• Beer adverts portray drinking beer as a
primary component for having a party.
• Four wheel drive adverts create the
impression that driving 4WD as an exciting,
outdoor adventure.
• And perfume/aftershave adverts imply that
using the perfume/aftershave makes one
sexually appealing.
• These ads all create idealized experiences
associated with the uses of these products

Burberry used to REPRESENTED as sophisticated, classy &
expensive. Now it is REPRESENTED differently by the media. Who
knows what this might be?

These images RE-PRESENT Amy
Winehouse in very different
ways.
Her official website used the
image above. The Daily Mail
used the image on the right.

Quick task: Representations
• Media producers often reply upon
stereotypes when representing
characters to audiences
1. Can you list as many stereotypes as
you can?
2. Challenge – give examples of when /
where these stereotypes have been
used?
– Challenge: Why do you think the media
rely on stereotypes?

WHY DO I
NEED TO
KNOW
THIS?!

Thrillers &
Representation

• When you produce any media text
you will consciously or otherwise
create your own representations of
people, places and events through
the decisions you make about
– Camerawork
– Mise en scene
– Sound
– Editing

Analysis task
• Look at (at least) three thriller films
to find out how people (gender),
places and events are represented.

Analysing representation
You should comment on:
• Camera work
– Composition, shots, angle, movement

• Editing
– Cuts, transitions, SFX, titles

• Sound
– Music, dialogue

• Mise en scene
– Hair/make-up, costume, props, location/setting, lighting,
facial expressions & body language, positioning of objects

• Use of stereotypes

How to present the work
• Include an introduction
• Present your analysis using Prezi or slide share
– Use video clips and screen shots of the characters
and annotate your findings

• Conclude the post by
– identifying similarities in how they have been
represented,
– discussing how you feel they appeal to and
communicate the genre to the target audiences and
– explaining how this will inform your own production.

Success criteria
A/B

C/D

• Your blog post will have a clear
introduction as to why you are carrying
out the research
• You will analyse gender representation in
2 - 3 thriller films using a wide range of
examples (camera, editing etc) and use
of stereotypes
• You will make reference to relevant
theories such as Laura Mulvey’s Male
Gaze
• Your work will be SPAG error free
• You will use new media technology
effectively
• Your conclusion will be concise and cover
your opinion on the analysis and how
you will use this in your own production.

• You will give an introduction to
the task.
• You will analyse gender
representation in 1 - 2 thriller
films using a range of examples
(camera, editing, sound & mise
en scene) and use of
stereotypes
• There will be few errors in SPAG
• You will use new media
technology to present your work
• Your conclusion will include your
your opinion and how you will
use this in your own production.

CHALLENGE – READING
INFORMATION
Representation Theories

Challenge: Representation
theories
Extension task – include a relevant
theory in your analysis and
conclusion:
• The Male Gaze (Mulvey)
• Hyerreality (Baudrillard)
• Stereotypes legitimise inequality
(Dyer)
• Binary opposites (Strauss)

DYER
Stereotypes legitimise
inequality (support inequality)

Richard Dyer

I am a professor of film
studies at King’s
College, London. I have
written extensively on
the subject of
representation

Stereotypes legitimise inequality (support
inequality)
• Most representations conform to some
form of stereotype and are exaggerated
or hyper real for entertainment
values.
• The ideological reading of this form of
stereotyping, as Richard Dyer would
argue is to legitimise (support) inequality

Richard Dyer
Summary
• Stereotypes perform a number of functions in
media representations.
• Dyer argues that the use of stereotypes in the
media reinforces the idea that there are big
differences between different types of people
• The use of stereotypes makes the audience feel as
though they are ok/correct and therefore accept
them.
• ‘How we are seen determines how we are treated.
How we treat others is determined by how we see
them. How we see them comes from
representation’ The Matter of Images

MULVEY
Male Gaze

Laura Mulvey – Talks about the
representation of male & female characters

Mulvey suggests that female characters tend to
be displayed for the visual pleasure of male
characters and audience members.
Females are coded as the ‘object’ of gaze within
media texts and are represented in a sexual
way.
Men = Look (active)
(passive)

Women = Looked at

Mulvey - Criticisms
• Focuses too much on the idea of a male, heterosexual
spectator
• Ignores the idea that men may provide visual pleasure

• Focuses on the idea that the object is passive (weak).
Could it rather be the case that objectified women are
able to exert power over their submissive audience?

BAULDRILLARD
Hyperreality

Baudrillard –
Hyperreality
The principle of Baudrillard’s theory is
that representations no longer refer to
‘real’ things. The representation has
become more real to us than reality,
and has actually replaced it.
This means that images are now
‘hyperreal’ in that they bare no
relationship to the real

Baudrillard –
Hyperreality

E.g. An image of a pop star shows their
celebrity image, not their reality
Are either of
these images
‘real’?
Consider
whether the
representation
s you’ve
created are
‘real......

This theory can also be applied to texts
that claim to be real e.g.
Documentaries, news

Applying Hyerreality

A person, place or event is
presented to the audience as reality
Examples?

STRAUSS
Binary Opposites

Levi Strauss – Binary
Opposites
• Two contrasting characters or scenes that
are seen in one show, that are clearly
meant to be total opposites.
• For example there may be a sweet
innocent girl who is scared and weak,
paired against an evil powerful man.
• They would be binary opposite characters.
Binary opposites could be concepts such
as good/evil, light/dark, male/female,
old/young

LEVI-STRAUSS: REPRESENTATION OF
DOMINANT/SUBORDINATE GROUPS
Dominant







Male
White
Middle/upper class
Middle aged
Heterosexual
Able-bodied
Regional identity
(London/south east)

Subordinate (below
dominant)






Female
Other ethnic groups
Working class
The young/old (Skins)
Homosexual
Disabled (Mary and
Max)
• North/Midlands/Irish /
(Game of Thrones)
• West/Scotland/Wales