Age and Social Class Media representations a definition Categories and images that are used to present groups and activities to media audiences which may influence the way we think about theses activities and groups. What do you think ? When looking at the concept of age which stereotypes do you believe exist ? An brief introduction .... Different age groups tend to be represented in different ways in the mass media, Children up to the age of 14 are often represented as consumers of toys and are generally presented in a positive light. Youth Youth from around the age of 15 to early 20s are often portrayed as a “problem group” in society and as a major source of anti social behaviour particularly young working class and especially African Caribbean males. Exciting stories and sensational headlines help to sell newspapers and attract http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VwgGHrDdX0 &feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4Wy3GoDsDQ &feature=related What do you think ? How do the previous videos reinforce the concept discussed in the previous slide ? Do you believe there are over exaggerations in the clips ? Mass media generate a sense of excitement by creating negative stereotypes about young people as troublemakers, layabout and vandals, Exaggeration of the deviant behaviour occasionally displayed by a small minority from a targeted group, Information presented in the media is usually blown out of proportion, As the mass media might be the only source of information for the majority of people, thus distorting peoples perceptions and giving a misleading impression of specific groups. What do you think ? Which groups in society are more prone to believing in those stereotypes? So .... Old people who tend to be more home based are particularly vulnerable to believing such stereotypes as their impression are likely to be formed strongly by the media. Cohen (2002) Argues that young people are relatively powerless and an easily identifiable group to blame for society’s problems, African Caribbean males are often used as scapegoats by the media to create a sense of unity through the creation of moral panic (common enemy), Media generated moral panics based on stereotypes means that all young people from a specific group get labelled as troublemakers and an antisocial problem group. What do you think ? How do you feel older people are stereotyped in the media ? Older people Presented in the media in quite negative ways, Suffer from negative stereotypes more than any identifiable group, Usually represented as being poor, forgetful, antisocial, incapable of work, in ill health, difficult and grumpy. Key theorist Biggs (1993) Found that old people were represented in the media TV sitcoms as being forgetful and difficult, Cuddy and Fiske (2004) Showed that in the US TV portrayed just 1.5% of its characters as elderly with most of them in minor roles, Usually appeared on TV as a figure of fun and comic relief usually based on ineffective mental, physical and sexual capacities. Gender differences Male Represented as sexual partners of younger women (Clooney, Heffner, Willis) Political or religious leaders (Mandela) Successful business people ( Branson, Murdoch) Experts, authoritative journalist, and commentators. Female Seen as invisible as they are expected to remain youthful and forever young. Lack of positive roles. Szmigin and Carrigan (2000) Study of the views of advertising executives in 19 London agencies, Types of products and services which could appropriately be represented by older people, Agencies wary of using models which they believe might alienate pupils, Szmigin and Carrigan (2000) Growing number of people in the populations have changed advertising, More older women with money to spend (the grey pound), Increase of positive images of ageing and positive roles for older women, Conglomerates pursuit of the older people’s market Visual example .... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vilUhBhNnQc Suggest ways in which the representations of the women in this ad may or may not challenge media stereotypes of gender and/or age? Social Class Intro Representations of social class in the mass media has not been researched as much as other issues, Working class Presented in the stereotypical context of traditional working class communities such Eastenders and Corrie, Shameless Community values often praised but do not reflect reality, Working class communities have declined with the collapse of traditional industries such as coal mining, Often presented in the context of trouble, undesirable welfare scroungers, unable to cope with their delinquent children. Upper class Mainly done through the coverage of the monarchy, Seen as well bred and cultured, Represented through their accents, estates, and a taste for shooting and hunting, Usually represented in costume and period drama. How does the media represent social class ? Lack of focus on the tensions or class conflict which exist within society and have been highlighted by key sociological perspectives such as the Marxist, Media through its representation of social class ensures the cultural hegemony of the dominant capitalist class which maintains inequality and exploitation. Nairn (1988) – Monarchy “Royal Family” concept = niceness, decency, ordinariness, Royal family can be deemed to be “like us” but “not like us” – the queen seen as ordinary working mother doing extraordinary things, Obsession with the royal family develops through the British society following WWII The Royal Wedding http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hgvu3RVw6A What do you think ? What is the media The identity of the coverage ofidentity the Prince’s British is weddingup so in bigthe wrapped worldwide Queen. ? Representations of the upper class and wealth Neo-marxist believe that the mass media representations of social class tend to be celebrate hierarchy and wealth, UK mass media never portrays the upper class in a critical light, Upper classes usually portrayed in an eccentric or nostalgic way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwtZuGvawwY&feat ure=related Reiner and Young (2007) Media tends to portray the UK as a meritocratic society in which intelligence, talent and hard work are rewarded, Neo Marxist argue that this concept of meritocracy is in fact a myth as wealth rather than ability opens up the doors and access to Oxbridge and top jobs, Cohen and Young (1981) suggest that the British culture is a monetary culture characterized by a “chaos of reward” Top businessman are rewarded for failure, Celebrities are over rewarded by their “talent”. Newman (2006) Argues that the tabloid media dedicate a great deal of their content to examining the lives of another section of the wealthy elite, This dedication invites the audiences to admire the achievements of these celebrities, Media over focuses on consumer items such as luxury cars, costly holiday spots and fashion accessories The middle class Presented as educated and successful as well as able to cope with problems, Over represented in the media due to their lifestyle, Representation fits in with the hegemonic ideology of the dominant class in society, Representation justifies the existing class structure and inequalities by suggesting people need to become more competent and successful in order to cope with life. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uquSW3NEuio Representations of the middle class Overrepresented on TV in dramas, soap operas, and situation comedies, Substantial percentage of newspapers and magazines are aimed at the middle classes such as a Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph which focuses on their consumptions and taste, Content of newspapers expresses the concerns of the middle classes with regards to the declining moral standards along with their pride for their British identity and heritage, Representations of the working class Newman (2006) argues that there are very few situation comedies, television or drama which focuses on the everyday lives of working class who constitute a significant section of society, Newman argues that when in the media working class are often depicted in a very non positive light dumb buffoons (Homer Simpson) and immature machos (Phil Mitchell), Butsch (1992) – working class portrayed as flawed individuals (benefit cheats, etc) Representations of the working class Curran and Seaton (2003) – newspapers aimed at the working class make the assumption that they are uninterested in serious analysis of either the political or social organisation, Marxist argues that the content of newspapers such as the Sun and the Daily Star is ban attempt to distract the working class audiences from the inequalities of capitalism. Representations of poverty and underclass Portrayal usually negative and stereotypical, Portrayed in the form of statistics in news bulletin such as figures of unemployment, Recent media interest in the labelling of the poor such as “chavs” which according to Shildrick and MacDonald (2007) suggest that the poor are undeserving of sympathy, Hayward and Yar (2006) – the term chav is used as an amusing term of abuse for young poor people http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVjKVBf-AxI Lawler (2005) Chav is used as a term of of digust and contempt, Argues that the the media use the dicrimatory and offensive langauge to violify what they depict as a peasant underclass symbolised by stereotypical forms of appearance, Swale (2006) – usage of the term NEET (Not in Emploeyemnt Education or Training), Newspaper suggest that those from the underclass are responsible for their own poverty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkVUQRAmuD0 McKendrick et al (2008) Poverty is rarelt explored in the media, Programmes such as Shameless present a sanitized picture of poverty, Jeremoy Kyle paints a picture of poverty which is seen as entertainment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfsh5NeCeLU&featu re=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnI- 3ez5jIU&feature=related Coohen (2009) Argues that the UK mass media was so concerned about trumpeting the good fortune of British capitalism that it paid less attention to its casualties, Task Read through the handout and answer the four questions individually. Exam practice Using your notes and the handout you have been given with regards to media representation and stereotypes create a plan for the exam question focusing on the concept of age or social class.