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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Representation Theories


Semiotics:

  • Developed by Ferdinand De Sessure
  • Studied how language created meaning
  • Language doesn't reflect reality - meaning is constructed.   

SIGNS ------------------ >  REPRESENTATION ------------------- > INTERPRETATION OF SIGNS

Signs:  
SIGNIFIER + SIGNIFIED = SIGN

EG:   Heart  = Love


Visual Pleasure + Male Gaze:

  • Theory developed by Laura Mulvey
  • Feminist Film Scholar - 'Visual pleasure and narrative cinema'
  • Argued that female characters were objects for male characters sexual desire. 
  • The Male Gaze - male characters are 'the barer of the look' which is usually aimed at physically desirable, sexually submissive characters.
  • Mulvey argues that spectators watch the films though the eyes of male due to 'The Male Gaze'
  • Cinema offers voyeuristic pleasures. 
  • Women connote 'to-be-looked-at-ness' 

Stereotypes:

  • Stereotypes are often used as a cultural shorthand when represented by the media. 
  • Dyer had argued that stereotypes are only used to reinforce peoples differences and singling people out as this stereotype. 
  • Dyer had also argued that stereotypes are used to represent peoples differences as natural.  
 EG: Stereotypes about youth represents that they are all wreck less and  irresponsible - giving the brand of 'youth' to everyone.   



Simulacra:

  • Theory developed by Jean Baudrillard
  • Representation is problematic
  • Simulations of realities which don't exist
  • Hyper reality - 'a condition in which what is real and what is fiction are blended together so there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins'
  • Celebrity images are a good example of this. 
  • There is no distinction between reality and and representation, only the simulacrum.
  • Baudrillard researched hyper reality, noting how humans accepted simulation as reality. 
  • Realized that many people now couldn't identify the line between reality and altered representation. 
  • Baudrillard questioned if anything was truly real in the age of mass media. 
 EG: The Only Way is Essex. 

     


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