Published on March 13, 2014
QUESTION TWO • How does your media product represent particular social groups?
How do the photographs and men represent particular social groups? Women are presented the most frequently within my front cover, contents page and double page spread. None of the girls included have been sexualized or objectified through suggestive poses/costume choices. This challenges the stereotypical male gaze often seen in music magazines. I kept the models hair and makeup fairly simple and natural, this also challenges glamourized expectations of women appearing to be perfect and flawless in magazines. Her overall casual look conforms to the calm tone of the genre. She is wearing a leather jacket (denotes alternative music) and making direct eye contact which conveys her as confident and empowered instead of just ‘girly’. I feel as though both sexes are depicted in a positive light, they are both portrayed as successful and promoted for their musical talents and achievements. Only one male has been displayed within my product, he is shown in the bottom left hand image in my contents page, acting as a sneak peek of the content of the studio tour article. Men are usually presented as dominant and in control, however he is captured with a loosely framed medium shot and his face is concealed, suggesting that he is not supposed to be the main focus of the article.
How do the photographs and text represent young people or older people? I think the images, colour scheme and formal register within the text challenges stereotypes of young people not taking anything seriously or working hard. This is because these elements portray the people shown in my magazine as dedicated and serious about their career. Yet they still appear exciting enough to keep the reader interested in it’s content. I have mainly used young people as old people aren't included in the demographic of my target audience, because of this I don’t feel the need to show pictures of middle aged people, due to the fact I don’t have to create a level of relatability with that particular age group. Also young people would be more likely to aspire to someone and view them as a role model if that person was around a simular age, if not slightly older. After researching many magazines categorized in the alternative genre I generally didn't come across many representations of middle aged or older people, so with the aim of keeping my work in line with conventions I decided to follow this trend.
Are any of the following represented – sexuality, race, disability etc? Are any groups notable due to their absences i.e. they have not been presented? Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to represent people of varied ethnicity, sexuality etc. This is partly because the project only involves creating a snippet of an entire magazine, plus I know few people that fall in to these categories who would be willing to take part in a photo shoot. The weakness of my magazine falls in to lack of representation of different social groups, therefore not presenting our society in a way that is realistic. I would liked to have clearly presented that there is more equality between minority groups nowadays, a representation that many magazines of the same genre have conveyed successfully.
How is the genre of your music represented? The genre is characterized through the layout and structure of each page - minimalistic and easy to navigate, emulating the genres laidback tone. I have chosen more recognizable, mainstream artists that currently define the genre to feature on the cover. They would definitely be easy to identify with people who are already familiar with the genre, for example the 1975. This encourages a wider audience to invest in the product, then introducing them to more underground bands mentioned within the magazine. Also the colour scheme is commonly seen in other extremely successful alternative music magazines - NME and Q, so the pop of red/neutral has almost become iconic in terms of which genre it connotes.
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