Published on February 5, 2014
Q1b Key Concepts Representation
Richard Dyer provides a useful framework to help us analyse representation….
Richard Dyer’s Typography (1985) 1. What is represented? 2. How is this representative of social groups? 3. Who is responsible for the representation? 4. What does the audience make of it?
1. What is represented? What information, through the use of media language, does the text give you about characters, subject matter or place? Consider your character(s): Social Groups: • • • • • • • Age? Gender? Sexuality? Nationality? Ethnicity? Regional Identity? Physical Ability / Disability? Role in film? Characteristics? Consider how you have suggested this to the audience through the use of: • • • • mise-en-scene camera editing sound Give specific examples from your teaser trailer.
2. How is this representative of social groups? What does the text suggest is typical? Consider what it says about particular social groups. Stereotype? Countertype? Positive? Negative? If stereotypes are used, why are they there? Are they conventional for the genre? • • What ideologies do the representations reinforce? • You could bring in theory here as part of your discussion. i.e. for gender you could refer to: The Bechdel Test Berger - ‘Men act, women appear’ (1972) Mulvey - ‘The Male Gaze’ (1985)
3. Who is responsible for the representation? Consider the filmmakers and the institutions responsible for production. What agenda do the producers have? Why would they want to represent things in a certain way? - think about: target audience genre commercial aspect artistic expression When analysing your own work, don't just think you are the producers, think about who you have suggested are the producers of your text? Independent producer/distributor or major studio? British/American? etc.
4. What does the audience make of it? Taking all of the above into account what might the audience response be? As we know not everyone will respond to the text in the same way so there is not one answer to this! Consider different audiences. It is useful to look at the concept of audience to help address question 4. See Audience resources.