Representation theory and how we’ll implement it into our construction

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The definition of representation is the process by which media texts re-present reality (people, place and ideas) through the processes of selection and ordering within generic, technological and institutional conventions. Now, it is very important that we understand representation so that we can create characters that will have create the desired emotions out of the audience whilst not offending anyone at the same time.


Chandler- General

. Chandler claimed that all texts, however ‘realistic’ they may seem to be are constructed representations rather than simply transparent ‘reflections’, recordings, transcriptions or reproductions of a pre-existing reality. Representations which become familiar through constant re-use come to feel ‘natural’ and unmediated. However, representation is unavoidably selective, foregrounding some things and backgrounding others and every representation is motivated by stereotypes and things from past history.


. “This operates, not because the dominant classes can prescribe and proscribe, in detail, the mental content of the lives of subordinate classes (they too ‘live’ in their own ideologies), but because they strive and to a degree succeed in framing all competing definitions of reality within their range, bringing all the alternatives within their horizon of thought. They set the limits- mental and structural- within which subordinate classes ‘live’ and make sense of their subordination in such a way as to sustain the dominance of those ruling over them”. What this means is that the people who control the media use their power over the audience to feed them media that creates the representations that they desire in the minds of the audiences, a sort of mental repression.



. Pluralism stresses the group rather than the individual and argues that the media in capitalist society is authentically democratic since 1) the media’s popularity derive from interaction among society’s constituent groups, to which all the audience belong; 2) the media are internally democratic, they accurately reflect their audience’s interests and views; 3) the balance among these forces, reflected in the media output, essentially represents a fair and true equilibrium among all the audience groups, with no great consistent bias in any direction” In other words there are multiple representations of all things, both negative and positives, as they want to try and keep all groups of audiences happy and have to create representations of the same thing that they all like and eventually those all create stereotypes that when mixed together create an accurate representation. If the media do rely on stereotypes it is only because it acts as a reflection of society rather than a representation


Male Gaze- Mulvey

. Laura Mulvey proposed the ‘Male Gaze’ theory in her article, ‘Visual pleasure and Narrative Cinema’. This particular theory was influenced by the psychoanalytic concept that film can access a person’s subconscious and unconscious fears, anxieties and desires. Film is largely based on the pleasure of looking. Mulvey also argues that male viewers experience voyeurism by viewing the opposite sex and narcissism by identifying with male protagonists. Ultimately cinema is seen as one means for upholding patriarchy by positioning men in positions of power leaving women feeling lacking.

Out of all of these theories, the one we will most likely implement into our construction is the Male gaze theory proposed by Mulvey, as it links very well with the genre of film we have to make a trailer for, Noir, with some of the archetypal conventions being the illusion of overly sexualised women as femme fatales and men in power as both villains and heroes.


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