Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Gramsci's Theory

Gramsci put forward ideas of hegemony, which in terms of the media refers to the ways in which media texts can encourage people to follow oppressive structures through coercion and consent, although mainly through the act of consent. This means that the people of a society have to be taught to follow behaviours and beliefs that keep the powerful people in power and maintain the same ideas. It was believed by Gramsci that the media played a significant part in teaching people to support the power structures in their daily lives. This means that the plot of media texts, such as our film, should relate to the context of the era in order to be successful.

Our film acts to reflect the context of current society in a number of ways, such as through stereotypes. For example, we adhere to the current stereotype of teenagers as irresponsible trouble makers that drink and behave in a promiscuous manner constantly. It also more specifically reflects the perception of teenage girls as wanton and materialistic. This representation has been brought about through media texts such as the television drama 'Skins' and the news in which it is often reported that teenagers are criminals. We follow this idea by introducing our characters as immoral through their costuming, and through their actions of undressing and drinking alcohol at a party. The costuming shows stylish and provocative clothing. This creates an immediate perception of the characters for the audience so that they feel aware of the characters' backgrounds despite being given minimal information. It is in instances such as this that it becomes necessary to work with stereotypes, as it allows swifter communication with the audience.

Our film also reflects the current trend in which girls in traditional style school uniform are seen as sexually attractive. The costume usually consists of tight blouses and short black pleated skirts. These kind of costumes have become popular through Japanese manga, for example, and through the increasingly attractive and technically adult actors used to play teenagers in media texts. This has caused males of varied ages to find the costume attractive, even if they are not of school age. Our media text uses girls in a traditional style school uniform of a white blouse and short black skirt, therefore reflecting the sexual link. This acts to attract a larger audience as males of all ages, even those that are not in our specific target audience, are drawn to the appealing characters and want to watch more of them.

Our text could also be said to be counterhegemonic in that it does subvert the stereotype of private or boarding school girls. Girls attending these schools intended for wealthy English people are often referred to as posh and snobby in media texts, especially those created by America, for example. The introduction of our characters as corrupt and against authority could be considered to therefore contrast a current idea. However, it could equally be said to reflect the changing perceptions of school girls as they are considered more and more likely to follow in the other stereotypes of teenagers.


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