Sunday, 7 March 2010

Theories and theorists part 2

Angela McRobbie, Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Her work focusses on Youth Culture and particularly the role of gender, with a special focus on girls' culture in magazines, dress and music. Her ideas would be particularly useful for looking at the Media and Collective Identity, though any study of audiences in relation to any of the topics might find her work useful.

Professor Sonia Livingstone is Head of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics. Her research on television audiences and more recently on children's use of the internet would be very useful for both Media in the online age and Regulation as topics for the exam.

Charles Leadbetter

"More people than ever can participate in culture, contributing their ideas, views, information.
The web allows them not just to publish but to share and connect, to collaborate and when the conditions are right, to create, together, at scale.
That is why the web is a platform for mass creativity and innovation." Leadbetter's book 'we think' explores these notions, with contributions from many early readers of drafts which appeared online.

Stuart Hall

Now professor at the Open University, Hall was a key figure in the development of thinking about how the media do not simply reflect reality, but actively construct our understanding of it. His ideas about how different meanings may be taken by different types of readers from media texts are well worth applying to examples for exam topics.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Media and Collective identity

The main text slides and some pictures from a presentation I recently gave at Rich Mix. Video material will be linked in forthcoming posts.

Collective Identity
View more presentations from petefrasers.

The quotes from Buckingham and Gauntlett both come from the A2 textbook and raise the issue of how identity relates to use of the media. In my view, a study of collective identity cannot simply be about how texts represent different groups but must also consider how people interpret those representations and how they construct a representation of their own identity, particularly online. Throughout the presentation, I try to make this point.

I have set out here what the basic needs for the exam would be and towards the end attempt to show how the areas we consider in the presentation might be used to answer the January 2010 exam questions on the topic. I have also tried to summarise how the work of particular critics might be useful towards an answer.

Jenkins' idea of cultural convergence is illustrated by the Bert and Bin Laden example, where an image done in photoshop in someone's bedroom took on a new resonance when it was picked up in Pakistan and posters were made which were then used in a demonstration reported in the `western media.

The presentation goes on to consider issues around the construction of identity online- such as false identity and the end of privacy that the online age has brought about, before moving to case studies of the construction of collective identity around the thmes of youth in particular case studies, such as 'Skins' and 'the Wire'.

We also looked at a current meme- 'coppercab' whose angry rant about 'ginger people having souls' attacks an episode of South park and some subsequent responses. His video, made in january, has had over 3m hits and been parodied on numerous occasions.

The presentation also looks at the way that a deviant image of youth around moral panics is often constructed by news media and the ways in which facebook can be used to construct a collective identity and the homogenising impact it appears to have on profile photos and other elements of a user profile.