Stuart Hall

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Stuart Hall gave the definition of representation as – “Representation is the way in which meaning is given to the things depicted”. “Representation carries the notion that something was there already and through the media has be re-presented”. (YouTube – Representation & the Media: Featuring Stuart Hall)

Hall says that everything that we eventually see has always been present, whether we notice it or not is down to our own perception of the media


James Baker

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Selection – whatever ends up on the screen or in the paper, much more will have been left out

Organisation – the various elements will be organised carefully in ways that real life is not

Focusing – mediation always ends up with us, the audience being encouraged towards concentration on one aspect of the text is ignoring others

This is saying that we as the receivers of the information from the media are not seeing the ‘whole picture’ so to speak. The media chooses what to tell us through newspapers or on TV, even if this is the complete truth or a short part of a much larger story


Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

The total cultural, economic, and political dominance achieved by ruling elite in a society. The term was developed by Antonio Gramsci. once a particular group had achieved hegemony, their viewpoint becomes accepted by public opinion as common sense, making it difficult for opposition groups to make an effective challenge. From 1979-97, the Conservative Party achieved hegemony with its policies for transforming the economy. Margaret Thatcher’s phrase ‘there is no alternative expressed common sense views widely held at the time.

(AS/A-Level Media Studies Dictionary – David Probert 2005)

We all live in societies where there are power structures. According to Gramsci’s theory of hegemony, these systems of power cannot be maintained by force alone. People have to do things, willingly and happily, in their everyday lives that keep the powerful people on top. Coercion alone does not work. If the President of the United States threatened to put to death Americans who did not hang flags from their homes, that president would be overthrown. However, plenty of Americans hang flags from their homes willingly and happily, and this is an everyday behavior that helps the government remain in power.

Everyday behaviors that keep governments in power:

People hanging flags from their homes

People rising and removing their hats when the national anthem is sung

People celebrating a country’s independence day with parades and picnics

Everyday behaviours that keep corporations in power:

People wearing designer clothing

People shopping at chains instead of local stores

Women displaying huge diamond engagement rings.

People celebrating days that have been manufactured by Hallmark, like Grandparent’s Day

Everyday behaviours that keep patriarchy in power:

Women taking their husbands’ last names.

Fathers “giving away” their daughters during wedding ceremonies.

The use of words such as “man” as gender neutral.


Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ideology can be described as the ideas behind a media text, the secret (or sometimes not-so-secret) agenda of its producers. Also as a set of attitudes, beliefs and values held in common by a group of people and culturally reproduced within that community to sustain its particular way in life. Ideologies can be described as dominant, subservient, oppositional depending on their status within a society. e. capitalism, communism, Christianity and Islam. Ideology is a body of ideas or set of beliefs that underpins a process or institution and leads to social relations. These sets of beliefs are those held by the ruling/dominant groups.

Ideological Discourse – These are the issues/attitudes debated over in the Media which form part of the everyday ideological discourse in our society. The views taken on these subjects form the basis of our social rules and practice:


(mediaknowall) (AS/A-Level Media Studies Dictionary – David Probert 2005)(


Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ideology derived form then writings of the sociologist Karl Marx (1818-83), which sees society as dominated by capitalist structures which maintain the hegemony of the ruling class and lead to exploitation of workers. Marxism centres on the concept of economic determinism, which is the belief that economic relationships are the basis or class struggle and result in the suppression of one class by another. Modern Marxism concentrate on the ways in which social institutions such as the media sustain dominant ideology and false consciousness in the interest of ruling elite.

(AS/A-Level Media Studies Dictionary David Probert 2005)


Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Levi-Strauss himself accepted the limits of his method. “The idea behind structuralism”, he explained, “is that there are things we may not know but we can learn how they are related to each other. This has been used by science since it existed and can be extended to a few other studies – linguistics and mythology – but certainly not to everything.” “The great speculative structures are made to be broken. There is not one of them that can hope to last more that a few decades, or at most a century or two.

(The Daily Telegraph – Wednesday, November 4th 2009)

Structuralism is an intellectual movement originating in the 1960’s, associated with a number of French writers and characterised by a study of the systems, relations and forms – the structures – that make meaning possible in any cultural activity or text.

a basic assumption of structuralism is that there are universal structures underlying different human cultures and texts.

the methodology has been applied to literature, language, film, fine art, psychology, anthropology, history and philosophy. Structuralism relies heavily on the terminology developed by semiologists such as Saussure and Barthes.

Barthes described a text as: “a galaxy of signifiers, not a structure of signifieds; it has no beginning; it is reversible; we gain access to it by several entrances, none of which can be authoritatively declared to be the main one; the codes it mobilizes extend as far as the eye can read, they are indeterminable…the systems of meaning can take over this absolutely plural text, but their number is never closed, based as it is on the infinity of language…” (S/Z – 1974 translation)

(AS/A-Level Media Studies David Probert 2005) (