Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Stereotypical class and status character

I have chosen to use Gene Hunt from Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes as my stereotypical character. I've focused more on status rather than class, as i focused on class more in my prezi presentation.
His status as DCI in the police is challenged especially when Alex comes along in Ashes to Ashes, as she's an independent woman and at the time women would have not have had such power at the time.
He almost abuses his power as he portrays the 'good cop' but isn't as 'by the book' as police are nowadays, yet his word is final.
In the 70's and 80's the patriarchal society that Britain once was was being challenged, and Gene Hunt shows the almost comical side of how he can easily take advantage of the fact he is DCI, and what he says goes.
The music that is used in the series 1 of ashes to ashes advert builds up towards him stepping out of the car, therefore building his status, by introducing the characters (Chris and Roy)that have less of a reputation than Hunt, then Alex' reaction immediately shows the audience that he's higher up than everyone else and possibly a bit of a womanizer.

His rank in his job especially increases the way the audience accepts his, what would otherwise be un-acceptable, behavior. If it was Chris coming out with half the lines that Gene did, it wouldn't have the same affect.
Hunt's body language is quite proud, dominating and confident, which shows his self confidence is high. I would assume he has quite a lot of pride and cares a lot on what people think of him and his overall reputation.
The way he dresses also asserts power, he is dressed considerably more formal than Ray, Alex and Chris. He's wearing a shirt and tie, suit and a long overcoat with leather gloves whereas Ray is wearing a black turtle neck polo shirt with a leather jacket which is more casual. Looking at how they are standing in this photo Gene is standing in front and it looks like as if he could be rubbing his hands, like he's ready to get going. It could also show that he is protecting them. I think that Gene Hunt is at the more extreme end of a stereotypical DCI; abusing his power and having a fair few sexist one liners. This character works solely on how he is built up by the reactions of other people towards him, 9/10 times when he is in the room he has the higher status.
In my opinion, after watching both series of Life On Mars and all three series of Ashes to Ashes, i grew quite attached to Gene Hunt, mainly for all of his one liners and simply the way he goes about things. From a feminist's point of view I could see how he would be despised because of his obvious sexism and how he could be seen as being at one extreme of a stereotypical man, how he belittles women obviously because his status in his job allows him to.
The idea of him being a stereotypical man is based on opinion, but i think there are masculine traits that are exaggerated which makes him more beleivable, yet he doesn't represent a majority of men which would critisize him being a stereotypical man.
I think Sam Tyler lets the audience see how exaggerated Gene Hunt is, as Sam's character is one that you are more likely to come across in everyday life. This could relate to how society and expectations have changed since the 70's/80's, so his character lacks validity to men in 2010, yet proves that some behaviors of men haven't changed.

How does Calvin Klein represent females in this advert?

How does Calvin Klein represent females in the above advert? are they objectified or sexually empowered? 

The idea of the 'Male Gaze' is obvious from this photo, or any underwear advert. The way Eva Mendes has been styled is obviously to be aesthetically pleasing to a man, this raises general questions such as how men look at women, how women look at other women and how women look at themselves. Relating back to Laura Mulvey's 'male gaze' this advert could be interpreted in different ways. The way men look at women; Obviously I am going on stereotypes with this point as I am not a man, but when a man looks at this advert it would mainly be for Eva Mendes' body and the fact she's in sexy underwear. She is also oiled up and has damp hair, which links back to her looking as if shes just got out the shower, which is associated with sexiness. As you look at her stance she looks powerful, so some men may also find that attractive and feel if their wife/ girlfriend/ lover/ partner wears the underwear, they could also look like this. The power is shown in the way she is standing with hear head turned back, her hands on her hips (her fingers pointing to the briefs), her legs apart is a powerful almost masculine stance. Her eyes being shut goes back to Laura Mulveys idea of the types of women, that Eva is creating a mysterious look because she's not making eye contact, the fact she's not wearing a wedding ring show's she's available, so the 'too good for you' vibe comes off of her. The second point of how women look at themselves could be a bit intimidating. As about 99% of women do not have a body like that so it could put them off, or if a slim woman looks at it, she could feel like she wants to wear it to boost her confident or look like Eva Mendes. Other women wouldn't look down on her as the underwear isn't slutty, more 'tastefully sexy'. It could also make women judge other women, and possibly Eva for posing like this. From a feminists point of view they could also think ' good on you ' for looking powerful and dominating, like she is marking a teritory. I reckon that using this advert as an example men could definatley objectify women as something good to look at, but from a womens point of view they could feel sexually enpowered and in control.

Compared to the Calvin Klein advert with Eva Mendes, this one of Jamie Dornan contrast when you look into the underlying signals. In my opinion this advert is aimed at both men and women. The stubble on his face and the hair on his chest shows he's not over-groomed, which would make men feel less intimidated by him, despite having a very toned body it doesn't look as extreme as the muscles body builders have, as he doesn't have a six-pack, or it has been photoshopped out; it isn't supposed to overpower or challenge men, it is a realistic man. Jamie's body language is vunerable, with the head facing down and his arms hanging by his side doesn't portray power like Eva Mendes' advert did. This relates to women liking vunerable men, which would draw their eye to the advert, along with his amazing body. I asked my friend Megan what she thought when she looked at this advert; ' It makes me want to buy the boxers for my boyfriend, as it gives the impression that he'd look as hench as the model'.
When it comes to the boxers there is no emphasis on them, as they are plain and there's no body language pointing towards them or enphasising them. The 'Calvin Klein underwear' slogan is near the upper half of the body, which doesn't draw attention to the boxers more to the mans body. The result could be switched as men could feel sexually enpowered for wearing these boxers, and women could look at this man purely as some eye candy.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Stereotypes in the media

Stereotypes shape the publics opinion. They are narrative shortcuts which orientate the audiences expectations. Some people argue that stereeotypes are fixed and unchanging. This links to the hypodermic theory that cinema injects people with stereotypes.
Leon Festinger beleives we resist changing our opinions unless faced with overwhelming evidence against what we beleive. Cognitive disonance is when our brain encounters new ideas and rejects them because they don't match our expectations. This is subjective to opinion, it also works in the sense that overwhelming evidence can change your opinion on something as it seems more plausable.

We then watched everybody elses prezi presentation on seven stereotypes re-presentated in the media.; all of these views are not mine they are ones that appear to be portrayed in the media.
Children; Children in the media are played as the same age of the target audience. e.g Tracey Beaker/ kids at the dumping ground are all the ages of the target audience. The media portray children to be good people so that the children watching aspire to be like them.
12-14 year olds; nearly always play cool characters who lead action packed, interesting lives, they always play the good guys e.g M-I-High, again it gives something for the target audience to look up to.
15-18 year olds; Never normally played as 'normal' teenagers. You have one end of the spectrum, such as skins where all the teenagers are seen as druggies, dropouts, violent people who lead exciting lives going out partying getting off their face which is, lets face it, hardly like the lives of teenagers i know. Then the other end of the scale would be The Inbetweeners, which shows social rejects and their struggle on getting girls and getting through the hurdles of teenage life. That is more realistic but obviously not a match to everybodies life. Characters such as Vicky Pollard are used to discourage mid teenagers becoming like that. People look down on her and take the piss out of her which makes her a bad role model and would make people avoid being like her. Older people (30+)
20-30; Hollyoaks represents the idea that when you're younger you dress older and when you're older you dress to look younger. It reflects that the 20's is the prime time of your life and everyone is successful.
Eastenders shows that you get more sophisticated as you enter your 30's, e.g drinking wine instead of alcopops and that women dress more their age, more glamorous. It shows men being more successful, dressed in suits.
Elderly people are re-presentated as being old, mardy, weak, not with it, complaining or contrastingly as a happy chappy 'war hero'.

Ability & Disability
There are many typed of disabilites, but the one the media foucuses on is people bound to a wheelchair. Disabled people are typically seen to be wearing comfy clothes, as they are viewed to be housebound and don't actually need to get out of their wheelchair. Normally characters in wheelchairs are vunerable, don't make much effort and aren't energetic. This depicts disabled people. Andy and Lou from Little Britain make full use of the stereotypical disabled person. The settings of Andy's house is untidy and dirty, implies that because he's in a wheelchair he can't do day to day chores.
The camera nagle tends to look down or at a disabled person, never looks up to them. It is common that the carer is in the image with the disabled person, rather than focusing on the individual person. Another thing that doesn't focus on the individual person is when you hear stories of disabled people doing well, e.g if someone who had lost their legs and had fake ones put on and ran a marathon, would get a lot more praise than someone who had both of their own legs. This re-inforces that non-disabled people patronize disabled people. The personality traits of disabled people in the media are either that they are evil, or stupid. There's rarely a normal character in a wheelchair.

The toilet sign is something we all recognise, it gives the cultural signal of women wearing skirts and dresses, and men having broad shoulderrs and having thicker legs/arms than women. Nobody challenges this or gets 'mixed up' on what toilet to go into as this is what we accept a sign for female and male toilets. Stereotypically males are seen to be wearing trousers, short hair, strong, earn more money, working, bigger.
Women are seen to have long hair, not physically as strong as men, less responsibility and to be a typical housewife. The picture shows a 1950's woman getting pies out of the oven. This image shows a typical 'housewife' getting pies out of the oven, the child in the image also represents how women were supposed to stay at home, raise children and put dinner on the table for when the
husband ges home. Jokes people make nowadays about women being in the kitchen relates back to this. In contemporary soaps males are seen as the supporters, 'stoic', never the other way round. The women are seen as 'wearing their heart on their sleeve' and don't tend to control their emotions. The physical fighting in soaps , 9/10 times is done by men, if it is done by women its more of a bitch fight. It perpetuates stereotypical views, if you type fight into google, no images of women come up.

Regional Identity
Northeners- People are friendly yet reject anyone from the south. They are portrayed to moan a lot and consume a lot of alcohol. On average they live a 'lower class' life, and that more crime happens compared to the south. In this clip Frankie Boyle portrays scottish people by picking and exaggerating certain stereotypes.

Southeners- They seem to live a more upbeat lifestyle, mainly based around cities. They have a more 'Newsreader' Accent, which is easier to understand but is labelled 'posh'. They are more forward about subjects.

Countryside - From places such as the west country or Norfolk, are harder to understand and maybe seen as not ' with the times ' . Also seen as farmers, they wear more relaxed clothes, have more rural jobs e.g farmers and are seen to have a more physical working lifestyle. This clip from hot fuzz exaggerates the west country accent.

Hoodies are portrayed to be the sort of clothes that make people unnaproachable, and black people are normally seen to be wearing them. This enforces that black teenage/early 20's boys are thugs.·That they are lazy, don't want to work or help the community. This stereotype is challenged in Hollyoaks by a young black male (Calvin) is a police officer and therefore is helping the community. 
The full on traditional indian wedding is seen as a stereotype. That all indians dress in their shari all the time. Bend it like Beckham shows a stereotypical indian family, and their reaction to Jess wanting to play football -something indian girls dont do. This picture shows Jess' football team getting her dressed in her shari, exxagerating the cultural differences between a common western game and indian expectations.

It is also seen in British television that a majority of the actors are white, emphasising people of a different ethnicity are a minority and different.

Gay Male's wear tightly fitted clothing, are more into fashion and style than hetrosexual men, they like to spend their time out clubbing with girl friends, and often take part in gay parades.
Mr G in summer heights high is how you would expect a gay middle aged man to behave. He is into performing arts and is quite affeminate the way he speaks and acts.
He's quite bitchy aswell which is a trait that is normally associated with girls. He also has a 'handbag' dog called celine, handbag dogs are also seen to be something girls would have.
Plots tend to include coming out, how they cope and the abuse that suffers. This is focussing on the negative points of being homosexual. Lesbians are also portrayed in the media as having short hair, being butch, into contact sports such as rugby, deeper voices and act manly.

Status & Class
Mine and Jordan's Prezi presentation was on Status and Class;

We found that there are three main 'classes'; upper class, which is royalty, lords, dukes, and millionaires. Middle class; which is everyday people. Most of us fit into that category. Lower class; chavs, homeless people.
We associate the 'upper class' people to be rich, play sports such as polo and cricket, go fox hunting, live in mansions, have lots of jewells/diamonds, wear tweed, have afternoon tea, have a butler and drive a bentley. Usually people with higher class have the upper status in the media, and tend to have control of the situation.
Middle class is what we would consider 'normal' people, living in a semi-detached house, do normal things such as go to festivals, shopping with friends, have jobs such as teachers or bankers and have the typical 2.4 children. Outnumbered is a good representation of a middle class family. The setting is in a house and the situations that happen are not far from real life. The song ' The day I died' by Just Jack describes (up until the death) a typical day of a middle classed person ' drag myself from my bed, around twenty past six, get my kids up make breakfast 1 egg 2 toast 3 weetabix ' seems like a realistic routine that middle class people do.
Working class is seen as Chavs, wearing baseball caps, living in council houses. Bianca from Eastenders talks like you would expect someone from a lower class to, with a strong cockney accent. This indicates she isn't well educated and is a bit gobby. They are also related to not having much money.

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Male Gaze

The Male gaze is the idea that all aspects of media are from the perspective from a hetrosexual man. This picture of Barack Obama gives a good representation of the male gaze. It re-inforces that 'men look', and that men deliberatley re-presentate the media in from that perspective, the concept is of the male gaze is one that deals with how an audience views the people presented.
The film audience have to 'view' characters from the perspective of a hetrosexual male.

The features of the male gaze;
The camera lingers on the curves of the female body, and events which occur to women are presented largely in the context of a mans reactions to these events.
It almost relegates women to the status of objects or possessions. The female viewer must view from a males point of view.

For feminists, it can be thought of in 3 ways;
- How men look at women
- How women look at themselves
- How women look at other women.

From the concept of the male gaze it demonstrates that the way women are portrayed, men look at women more for their body or what they could potentially offer in ultimatley a sexual way.

It makes women look at themselves and compare them to photoshopped models, and maybe have lower self esteem as they aspire to be like the women in underwear adverts or catwalk models.

Naturally, women compare or judge other women, but look at them in a completely different way to 'stereotypical' man. If i look at another girl e.g in the street I am usually looking at how they style their hair or what they are wearing and compare them to what I am wearing.

The way women are portrayed ( men checking them out) can be used to their advantage, such as flicking their hair or sitting in a certain way to get male attention.

We watched the music video of ' She's so lovely - Scouting for Girls '

Mr Smith then asked us questions,
What colour was the boy and girls top?
What number lane were they at?
What colour belt were they both wearing?
What shoes were they both wearing?
What colour eyes did they have?

Predictibally the girls got way more right than the boys, as the girl in this video would be 'eye candy' and distract them from noticing other things. This is a typical example of the male gaze.

Marjorie Ferguson (1980)'s
The chocolate box;
half lips/ full smile
lips together/slightly parted
teeth barely visable
full/three quaters of face to the camera.

Looks like a typical girl next door, quite sweet, blandly pleasing, uninformity of beauty and devoid of uniqueness. Gwyneth Paltrow looks sweet and innocent on this cover of vogue, despite having heavy eye make up she looks like 'the girl next door', she also is looking above the camera which could be interpereted as being flirty, as when girls flutter their eyelids they look up.


Emphasis on the eyes
Mouth shut with a hint of smile
Head to one side or looking back to the camera

Sugestive of mischeif or mystery, hint of contact rather than sexual promise. Keira Knightley has her arm on her head and her mouth slightly open, making eye contact with the camera which shows she has confidence, but her facial expression isn't giving too much away.

Super Smiler

Full face
Wide open, toothy smile
Head thrusts forword or chin thrown back
Hair often wind blown or big

Agressive, look at me smile, unaproachable and maybe a bit attention seeking and over-confident. Sienna miller has backcombed messy hair wich shows confidence, her outfit is quite outgoing which matches her expression, which is layed back but shows she's confident and happy.

Romantic or Sexual

Includes male/female 'two somes'
Heavy Lidded
Overtly sunsual/sexual

Possibly or definatley available, gives off the signal that she is easier to get than other girls and maybe not up for anything serious. The model in this is making eye contact with the camera, with one hand on her hip and standing in a 'powerful' way with her legs open, could indicate a sexual message to males.

Trevor Millum (1990's)

Similar to cool/level
Eyes less wide
Expression is less reserved but still self confident

Cheryl Cole on this cover gives the impression that she's independant and powerful and knows exactly how to get a man to look at her.

Nymph like
Outdoor girl
Often smiling/grinning

The model on this cover looks healthy as she has good complexion, teeth and healthy natural hair. She looks the type as if you met her you could imagine to live a busy lifestyle, it looks to me as if you could imagine her playing tennis and being a bit ditzy.

Engaged in business in hand
Mouth closed
Eyes object directed
Sometimes a slight frown
Hair often tied back or in short smile

This woman looks as if shes stressed by work, she may be unnaproachable and quite driven and indipendant.


Deliberatley ridiculous
Acting the fool
Pulling faces

Agyness Deyn is a classic example of Milliums view of a ' comic ' she pulls a variety of different facial expressions and often seems like shes having a laugh and not being entirely serious like most stereotypical supermodels.


A neutral look as of a dummy, artificial, mannequin, wax like
Features may be in any position, but most likely to be with eyes open wide and a smile
Looks remain vacant and empty with peronality removed.

Uma Thurman isn't really pulling a specific face, it looks like it is in a neutral position. The picture doesn't really infer anything so no message is given.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Audience viewing habits questionnaire

The task we were given was to ask ten people in our class 15 questions on their film viewing habits.
Me and Becca worked together to come up with 15 questions and ask them to members of our class, here are our questions and answers;

Audience Viewing habits questionaire
After looking at this questionnaire I came to the conclusion that most of the people i asked ( bar one person) don't chose to watch a film based on it being made by an American or British film company. It is inevitable that some, clearly not many, people chose to watch a film whether it is American or British, that is down to taste and opinion. It seems that more people watch a film on its content rather than whether it is American or British. It obviously it is impossible to generalise that statement as I only questioned 11 people, not the whole population. It is clear from this questionaire that we watch more American than British films, possibly because there are less British films to watch and maybe people just like the style of American films better despite saying it doesn't affect which films they view. I also thought it was quite contrasting that people didn't seem too bothered about whether a film was in 3D or not, considering the amount of money that goes into 3D cinema, and that about half of the people we questioned didn't like the idea of a 3D tv.