Friday, 8 October 2010

Representation, Prezi Presentation

We were put into pairs in our class and asked to each design a Prezi presentation on a specific area of representation out of the seven areas. We had to apply these to British TV and film to how certain groups of people are stereotypically presented. 
7 different areas: 
Class and Status
Physical Ability/Disability
Regional Identity

The presentations were shown and we wrote notes about them:

A baby has two different stereotypical sides. The first we saw was how they whinge and are always crying, but we also saw how they can be cute and cuddly. Old people can be seen and whinging moaning older people, or as very wise and someone to go to advice for. Although the age difference is extreme, you can link them together in that they are both helpless and in need of care, which shows a symbolic code between the two. Teenage stereotypes were linked to anti social behaviour and we saw Vicky Pollard as an exaggerated example of this. But then we also looked at opposing pictures showing teenagers hard at work.

The clothing worn by characters is usually one of the most important things we associate with that character from the very beginning. We associate black teens, such as Thomas from skins, to be unapproachable because of the clothes he wears. However in Hollyoaks the character of Calvin goes against this stereotype because he is dressed no different to anybody else, implying that he is in fact no different. When we see any type of Indians or Indian culture (in Eastenders for example) we associate them with a very traditional culture. They have very controlling parents and very often we see arranged marriages that the person isn’t committed to. However, other programmes such as Hollyoaks chose not to reflect the ethnicity of an Indian family so traditionally towards their culture.  Camera Shots: Looking at this is England, we see how the  ethnicity can affect the filming, For example, a lot of shots are filmed from below which suggests that the audience should in fact be intimidated by these people of look up to them. This could mean how the 'skinheads' were viewed around the time. We also see shots of the setting which shows us stereotypically council houses and estates; this is what we imagine the life of these people to be like and where they live or come from.
TV dramas sometimes go against stereotypes to create a storyline or just to increase interest in the character. In Hollyoaks Calvin is a black police officer, which goes against his stereotype as not only is he working, but he is in the police which oppose ideas that black people sit around all day and are criminals. A particular storyline that goes against ethnicity was Syed in Eastenders who found being gay difficult to accept, simply because of his religion and how it is not acceptable. Because of this being so against his religion it created a dramatic storyline as to what would happen. 

We have a preconceived idea that gay men are very feminine and wear tight fitting clothes, however this isn't necessarily true and yet this is how the media presents them. We also have a view that all lesbians are butch, but we saw that Lindsay Lohan was an exception to this since she is very much not a stereotypical lesbian.  We see settings of Gay pride parades with lots of feminine men and masculine women, which indicate to us that this is how they are. Particular character traits, such as those by Neil's dad in the Inbetweeners imply he is gay when in fact he is not. This includes things like being a drama queen. We watched a clip of Billy Elliott which showed how we immediately associate more feminine things with being gay, like Billy's dad assumes when he sees he is in ballet class. Many plots in shows follow a distinct pattern where the character discovers their sexuality, tells people, and then deals with reactions. The media make a big focus on sexuality and how it can be the person you least expect, which is why it makes a good storyline. In particular it draws attention when a teenager is gay.

Lesson 2:

When we see babies, stereotypically they are either crying or shown as being cute. They are sometimes the lead character and if they are it is usually aimed at children of a similar age. Kids of a slightly older age are usually shown as more mature than they actually are, and have things that most children don't have. This is usually because the makers want to encourage children to aspire to be successful and have these things. However it could be criticised as it forces expectations to act older on younger children.
When we think of the 12-14 year old age on TV we see them with action packed lives, with lives that people there age would aspire to be like.They are also stereotypically lazy so they are portrayed with action packed lives that hypodermically give children ideas of what we want them to be. 

Older teenagers are usually split into 'status groups' and in TV comedy is used to put teenagers off becoming certain stereotypes such as the Vicky Pollard 'Chav' stereotype. There is also programmes such as Skins which glamorize the idea of being a 'drop out' and taking drugs. A criticism of this is that it puts pressure on teenagers to behave a certain way in order to be 'cool'. However the main audience of Skins is middle aged men.
Looking at Hollyoaks as an example of young adults (20ish) we see that they are all very good looking and glamorous. This is probably because it makes teenagers want to grow up in the sense that when they do their lives could be like this.

Looking at Eastenders you can see example of people in there 30's or 40's, such as Tanya, Max and Jack Branning, who symbolise sophisticated, successful people who again younger people or even people of that age want to be like. the women wear more demure clothes than younger women or teenagers, as this is what we expect, and the men wear expensive suits that show masculinity and power. 
When we see the elderly on TV we either think of them as weak and helpless, like we saw a picture of war heroes with a blanket covering their legs; which is similar to how a child sometimes has a blanket with them.You can also have the 'kooky' old lady or man, or a wiser old person, who people go to for advice. 

This is represented very stereotypically, for example we see the disabled sign and immediately recognise it, yet a disabled person doesn't actually look like this. 
We watched a clip from the TV programme 'Spazticus' made by disabled people.
The clothing of disabled people  is usually comfortable or what we would describe as 'housewear' which shows them as vulnerable and weak. Their houses are very often seen as untidy and dirty to show how they cant really do any housework or that they are just incapable. They also generally live in bungalows that are undecorated. The camera angle very often looks down which makes them look small and is also demeaning; the carer is also very often in shot with them which shows how they cant manage on their own. A criticism of how disability is shown on TV would be the focus they put on the disability. They make this a key interesting thing about the character; they focus on the disability over the person itself.Also they very often associate disability with being in a wheelchair, and that not only are they physically deficient but also mentally when this is obviously not always the case, and is very patronising to people who are disabled.  The only real character traits that disabled people have are that they are either very stupid or very evil. A main example of how disability is shown, is Andy from Little Britain.

We were shown the typical signs of gender and how they are binary opposites. We then looked at how men and women compare in a patriarchal society that can be seen in some TV dramas
            Men:                       Women:        
           Trousers                    Skirts                
Strong                      Weak
Short hair                   Long hair
More money              Less Money
  Working                   Housewife
Bigger                       Smaller
In old films we see women who are helpless and waiting for a 'hero'
We see how even now men are the person to lean on, they are often shown as very stoic and show little emotion. Women are shown as dramatic. We were shown an example of stereotypical men in Fight Club. We see how men are portrayed as angry and aggressive, whilst women cheer them on. 
We also see even in soaps men in fights. This is a criticism as it shows violence, and potentially fuels a violent society. It perpetuates the violent stereotype of British men. In soaps we also see how most businesses are owned by men.
There is also the idea of the male gaze, where viewers are frequently invited to identify with male characters and to objectify females. Women are filmed predominantly by men so we see women through men's eyes. 

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)
Independence - of thought, action

Representation of women across all media tend to focus on the following:
Beauty (within narrow guidelines; looking a certain way is looking beautiful)
Size/Physique (again within narrow guidelines or expectations)
Sexuality (as expressed in the above)
Emotional - as opposed to intellectual
Relationships - as opposed to independence/freedom

1 comment:

  1. Well done Becca, this is really comprehensive and will be a great help to you when revising for the exam as well as when completing homework tasks.