For example, if we see something one way enough times (beautiful, thin, sexy, young etc.) – we accept it as normal - it is perceived as a universally valid ideology and the status quo (This is also known as the Culmination theory).
While it is presented as beneficial to all of society (e.g. it will bring you happiness) – Gramsci would argue that it actually benefits the ruling class (the mass media - $$$$$$).
Demonstrate an understanding of hegemony by responding to at least one of these questions:
· Is Gramsci’s model of cultural hegemony still true? Give examples.
· Are we all trapped by cultural hegemony? Give examples
· Is the Oscars an example of hegemony? Give examples
In order to analyse a media text you need to pay attention to the details, read the signs.
This process is known as decoding and it has two parts:
DENOTATION (decoding the simple, surface meaning of a sign, which can usually only be done one way)
CONNOTATION (decoding the deeper meaning, this can vary from person to person).
When we interpret signs, we usually use a combination of the two.
Take this simple sign as an example:
The DENOTATION of the sign is very simple: there is a figure of a walking man with a red line drawn across it, and then enclosed in a red circle.
The CONNOTATION of the red circle and line is easy too: danger.
Combine the red graphic with the figure of the man and you can conclude that it’s forbidden to walk here because you will put yourself in danger or break some kind of rules. You’ve probably seen this kind of sign in lots of different places, and haven’t really thought about how you know what it means.
The preferred reading of this sign is “No Entry” or “No Pedestrians”. Cars might be permitted in this area, but it would depend where the sign was placed. This is where the context of a sign becomes important, as it also contributes to the meaning. If this sign was placed in an area where the sexes were segregated, it could mean “No Men” or “Women Only”. If it was used in a galaxy far away where lots of different alien species were wandering around, it could mean “No humans past this point”. All these meanings are connotations suggested by deeper consideration of what the sign might mean, and a willingness to accept that the sign might have more than one meaning.
Most media texts rely on a range of signs and symbols, all of which must be decoded to unlock the full meaning of the text. We’re used to only spending a few seconds glancing at posters, ads, magazine front covers etc.
Media Studies requires you to spend longer looking deeper.
"If movies are the dreams of the mass culture… horror movies are the nightmares" — Stephen King, Danse Macabre
A decade by decade Guide to the Horror Genre
Horror is an ancient art form. We have tried to terrify each other with tales which trigger the less logical parts of our imaginations for as long as we’ve told stories. From the ballads of the ancient world to modern urban myths, audiences willingly offer themselves up to sadistic storytellers to be scared witless, and they are happy to pay for the privilege. Theories abound as to why this is so; do we derive basic thrills from triggering the rush of adrenalin which fear brings, or do horror stories serve a wider moral purpose, reinforcing the rules and taboos of our society and showing the macabre fate of those who transgress?
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“Action is character”—F. Scott Fitzgerald is also often quoted as having said that we have no “second acts” in our lives. The strong implication is that we must take action while we can, when it matters.
Syd Field expanded the idea to “what a person does is what he is, not what he says.”