Thursday, 27 September 2012

Reception Theory Homework

American Hardcore is a documentary on American Punk Rock in the 1980's.

American Hardcore Trailer:

Preferred Reading: The trailer feels very much intended for existing fans of Punk Rock. Archive footage and familiar music in the form of non diagetic sound by Minor Threat and other American Punk bands instantly create the emotions and essence of Punk Rock, the music is rapid and meant to inspire passion. The editing is fast paced, aggressive and relentless much like the music that it tells the story of. The trailer is short and sweet at just under two minutes, when an interview subject appears on screen they are there for usually no longer than a few seconds before more archive footage is shown, again, this matches the fast and furious nature of Punk music and helps create a nostalgic feel as old heroes such as Ian MacKaye appear on screen to spout a few lines about why they love the music.

Opposite Reading: It is easy to see why some people would feel immediately disinterested in this documentary after watching this trailer. The violence of the early Punk Rock scene is mentioned with clips from interviews such as Henry Rollins, lead singer of Black Flag, describing a typical Black Flag show as, "They're knocking guys out, they chase a guy underneath a car and try to pull him out and beat him". To many people these words are a perfect summary of the faults of early Punk Rock, the machismo and needless brutality is an instant turn off to people who are not interested in the stereotypical punk behaviour.

Negotiated Reading: The trailer is great impetus for anybody who wants to know more about Punk Rock, the archive footage does a good job of showing what a typical Punk Rock concert is like with plenty of wide angle shots that show cramped clubs stuffed full of excited fans.Many people who are less informed about Punk Rock may be intrigued by the appearance of the people featured in the documentary as none of them conform to the typical Punk fashion such as leather jackets, heavy boots and gauntlets. This would certainly be a surprise to the non-informed, average viewer who would be expecting the archetypal punk rocker only to find that American punks often dressed simply in t-shirts, button shirts, jeans and Converse sneakers, much more casually than their European counterparts.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Race And Ideology


- Race is a social construction.
- Races do not exist outside representation.
- Historical formation of race occupies structually subordinate positions.

Third World Images

- Localised inequalitities reproduced on world scale. - Portays Asia as an untouched melting pot of culture. - The institution portarys Asia as a travel destination with the intention of making money. The website plays up to Asia's reputation as a place of culture that is much different from Western culture. This exploits a certain stereotype of Asia, not an offensive stereotype but a stereotype nontheless. - Dedicated to providing an honest and truthful look at Asian news and politics. Clearly geared toward Asians and people who speak Asian languages since you can translate the site into Hindi and other Asian languages.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Homework - Representation In 'Bad Education'

1. How does the trailer use media language to engage the audience?

The mise-en-scene is that of a typical English high school and the students represent various stereotypes of children, making the show easy to relate to, many people have likely been to a school that looks like the school in the show and encountered at least some of the student stereotypes. The non-diagetic music creates a party atmosphere, implying that the show is going to focus more on being entertaining than being an accurate portrayal of school life, so that people watching the trailer will know what kind of show 'Bad Education' is. Most of the shots are mid shots showing the characters from the chest up, making it clear that the show is a character comedy.

2. How does the trailer represent young people.

The typical roles of older and young people are almost completely reversed which is where most of the shows humour comes from. The students in the show are clearly much more comfortable with themselves and stable minded than the teachers. For example, at one point we see a student slap Alfie, the teacher, and tell him to "Snap out of it", this is obviously not a typical relationship that a student and a teacher have which is what makes the scene humorous. The students all wear bland, conventional looking uniforms as is typical of English high schools, to establish that the kids are all working/middle class. However railing against the conformity of their uniforms, other aspects of their appearances are dramatically different from each other to help showcase the stereotypes that they portray, for example Jing's glasses and pony tail establish her as the typical nerd, Stephen's voice and extrovert nature establish him as the gay stereotype.

Homework - Representation

1. How does the trailer use media language to engage it's target audience?

The actors and actresses in the trailer are clearly stereotypes of upper class people. By showing these over privileged people enjoying themselves the trailer attracts two groups of people: the first group are the escapists who want to watch 'Made In Chelsea' because they aspire to be rich and extravagant like the characters in the show, the second group are the cynics who watch the show purely to make fun of the characters for being pompous and ignorant.

2. What sort of representations are created of young people?

The people in the trailer all look young (early twenties) and they are all having a great time, they look as if their lives are just huge parties and they don't have a care in the world. They also seem to be very wealthy since they are partying in what appears to be some kind of gothic manor, they are all wearing corsets and other clothing that was popular a couple of centuries ago and at one point you see a man reaching the epitome of excess when he opens a champagne bottle with a sword.

3. What do we learn about E4 from watching this?

We learn that E4 knows how to reach a target audience. They know how to construct and direct a trailer in a provocative way so that the trailer generates interest in 'Made In Chelsea'. Cleverly the trailer doesn't tell us a lot about the show, all we see is people partying, we aren't told about any of the characters or storylines so the trailer leaves people wanting to find out more and the only way they can do that is by watching 'Made In Chelsea'.

News Values

  • Negative stories
  • Human interests
  • Shock Value
  • Creation of celebrities out of general
  • Public
  • Coninuity
  • Proximity
Recent News Stories of Cultural Concern:

Royal launch criminal complaint over Kate Middleton's topless photos:

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Moral Panics - Chik-fil-A Controversey

File:PC Chick-Fil-A 2012-08-01.jpg

Chik-fil-A is an American fast-food restaurant chain. In recent years Chik-fil-A have generated controversy when it was discovered that Chik-fil-A donates substantial amounts of money to anti-homosexual groups. Chik-fil-A's chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, is himself openly anti-gay.

 Chik-fil-A's anti-gay stance has provoked both left and right wing people.

 After many left wing political groups and media outlets criticised Chik-fil-A, arch conservative politician Mike Huckabee organised "Chik-fil-A appreciation day", where on the 1st of August thousands of people bought Chil-fil-A food to show support for the restaurant, the restaurant chain saw record breaking sales on the day.

In response to "Chik-fil-A appreciation day" left wingers held "Same Sex Kiss Day" on the 3rd of August where same sex couples would go into Chik-fil-A restaurants and start passionately kissing.  

The Mayor's of San Francisco, Chicago and Boston have all stated that they will not let Chik-fil-A open another restaurant in their cities until they change their anti-gay stance and stop donating money to anti-gay organisations.

Moral Panics - Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton served as the 42nd President of the USA from 1993 - 2001.

In 2001 Clinton was accused of having extra marital affairs which he admits to and was also the victim of unsubstantiated sexual harassment charges. These accusations were constantly being reported on by the media, particularly right wing American media who opposed Clinton's presidency. In 2001 Clinton was impeached largely due to his sexual harassment charges. Clinton was a successful and popular President with a high approval rating from the public, he opposed war in the Middle East and was generally admired by the public for his image as a "single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's -and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas", but despite his popularity a few months of media hysteria was all it took to get Clinton kicked out of office.

Moral Panics and What They've Changed - 'Brass Eye'

'Brass Eye' was a TV show in the late nineties that parodied moral panics and sensationalism in the media and poked fun at the way that people blindly listen to whatever sensationalised news stories the media feeds them. The show actually ended up causing a moral panic of it's own.

The show outraged many people and received around 3,000 official complaints. Politicians such as David Blunkett and Beverly Hughes spoke out against the show, calling it "unspeakably sick". There was also a tabloid campaign against the shows creator, Chris Morris. British Labour Party politician, Tessa Jowell asked the Independent Television Commission (ITC) to reinstate censorship to get the show taken off of TV.