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Media studies - Academic ideas and arguments (theories)

I do media studies A level OCR exam board and it mentions that:

At both levels (AS and A Level) theory will only be
assessed in the in-depth studies (paper 1 section
A: News and Online, paper 2 section B: Long Form
Television Drama).

When talking about the theories must you always write their name could you just write the key terminology?

For examples in Barthes semiotic theory you would need to use terms such as signify and denote.
Use both name and terms. This shows that you have read and attempted to understand the author and their work. Don't just state their terminology, also define it and, where possible, give an example. This demonstrates that you not only know it but understand it.
Reply 2
Thank you for your answer could I attempt doing so for a question on LFTVD and send you to check if that is the way to do it.

Original post by cheadle
Use both name and terms. This shows that you have read and attempted to understand the author and their work. Don't just state their terminology, also define it and, where possible, give an example. This demonstrates that you not only know it but understand it.
To get yourself off the ground, why don't you pick one piece of terminology that you plan to use, with a brief definition taken from your course materials, and an illustrative example from the programme you are case-studying? I think it's always worth stating the academic author who is associated with the term (usually this person will be flagged in the course materials).
Reply 4
Here is what I wrote below.
In my answer, I will be talking about my two set products Stranger Things (ST) from the US and Deutschland 83 (D83) German long-form television drama (LFTVD).

The theory of postmodernism is a general set of ideas about current media products created after modernism this means that a plot would reference past cultures.

One feature of postmodernism displayed in ST is the homage to the 80s which is shown mise en scene e.g., costume hairstyles, props denotations of props such as 1980s style record player cathode-ray tube tv with an indoor aerial and references to Spielbergian films like E.T. For example, in the opening sequence of ST there was a panning shot a scientist getting chased by an unseen creature contrast cut to best friends; Mike Wheeler, Dustin Henderson, Lucas Sinclar, and Will Byers playing games in Mike’s basement. Similarly, at the beginning of E.T, there were unseen creatures who we would soon learn to be E.T and a contrast cut as well to friends also playing a game. Furthermore, they were both playing the game Dungeons and Dragons. This is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game first published in 1974. They play the 1983 Expert edition of the game in Mike's basement. This is also an intertextual reference to a board game that was very popular during the 80s. The older audience may feel a sense of nostalgia for this game as result reflecting the audience who watch to feel this nostalgia.

Similar to LFTVD in the US, the German LFTVD D83 uses 80’s intertextuality. For example, in the opening sequence, a TV shows Ronald Reagan, President of the USA infamous “Evil Empire” speech talking about the dangers of communism and his plans to attack Russia which led Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) which would also affect East Germany which is near it. Setting the scene of the Cold War between the two superpowers the United States and the USSR. This was a period of political tensions when distrust and fear could easily have escalated into a catastrophic nuclear war. It was an ideological conflict between the more liberal democracies in the West compared to the communist authoritarian states in the East. Germany was in the middle. At the end of the Second World War Germany was split by The Berlin Wall into the West which was capitalist allied with America (America established NATO in response to the threat posed by the USSR) and the East communists which were supported by the USSR leading to espionage and economic sanctions.
Reply 5
Forgot to pin you but above I have my attempt
Original post by cheadle
To get yourself off the ground, why don't you pick one piece of terminology that you plan to use, with a brief definition taken from your course materials, and an illustrative example from the programme you are case-studying? I think it's always worth stating the academic author who is associated with the term (usually this person will be flagged in the course materials).
(edited 1 year ago)
OK so you have used a number of specialist terms throughout this which need more definition.

postmodernism
modernism
mise-en-scene (you do break this down a bit but could go further)
intertextual reference + intertextuality
ideological conflict.

You have provided illustrative examples so what you need to to now is go back to your course materials and pull out some definitions of what these terms mean and insert these into your answer, also name dropping any associated authors.

This is as far I can go with advising you on the content of your essay. Hope it helps!
Reply 7
How would this be to write for, for the beginning instead to add in the definitions modernism and intertextual refence as well as adding more detail to postmodernism overall.

Postmodernism theory was developed by Baudrillard it’s a general set of ideas about current media products created after modernism. Modernism is described to be representations of contemporary art and culture (early 20th century) or belief that is in progress, which could date back much further. Some features of postmodernism include homage this is paying respects to a genre, style, person or product. Another is intertextual reference this is when either the producer or director makes either a subtle or a direct reference to another media product.

Also in terms of defining ideological conflict would that be okay if it's a brief bracketed description.

Could an associated name drop be Hall Reception theory where I mention audience having the preferred reading for 80s nostalgia?

Thanks you though this really helps and I have to say much better than my current teacher who I see physically.

Original post by cheadle
OK so you have used a number of specialist terms throughout this which need more definition.

postmodernism
modernism
mise-en-scene (you do break this down a bit but could go further)
intertextual reference + intertextuality
ideological conflict.

You have provided illustrative examples so what you need to to now is go back to your course materials and pull out some definitions of what these terms mean and insert these into your answer, also name dropping any associated authors.

This is as far I can go with advising you on the content of your essay. Hope it helps!
This is definitely going in the right direction.

I think you can do a bit more with the definition of postmodernism. This is your key theory, so make the most of it.

Bracketed definitions are fine, if its something that you want to do in passing, just to show that you know what you're talking about .

Any additional theories / concepts / terms that you think are relevant should indeed be dropped in, so maximise those opportunities.
Reply 9
Sorry I feel as though I'm pestering now.

Could you read this drop just cause I feel like it may be out of place I attempt to add but make it flow at the same time.

The older audience may feel a sense of nostalgia for this game as result, in line with Hall's reception theory this develops the preferred reading for 80s nostalgia.
You could add a brief explanation what this theory is and say why you think it is relevant to mention it here.
As you can probably tell, I'm avoiding any direct suggestions for what to write as it's essential that it is all your own work.
Reply 11
Postmodernism
Postmodernism theory was developed by Baudrillard it’s a general set of ideas about current media products created after modernism. Modernism is described to be representations of contemporary art and culture (early 20th century) or belief that is in progress, which could date back much further. Some features of postmodernism include homage this is paying respects to a genre, style, person or product. Another is intertextual reference this is when either the producer or director makes either a subtle or a direct reference to another media product. Baudrillard’s assumptions are that representations are more powerful than reality, and representations themselves no longer relate to reality.

Board game
This is also an intertextual reference to a board game that was very popular during the 80s. The older audience may feel a sense of nostalgia for this game. In line with Hall’s reception theory that states that producers encode meaning through shared codes creating either a preferred (liking the ideas of media product), negotiated (accept some ideas but not others) or oppositional (disagreeing with all ideas) reading. The preferred reading of ST would be for the 80s nostalgia. Moreover, ST using the game D&D allowed ST to create Stranger Things Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set merchandise of this game which according to Bandura’s media effect theory is an idea that the audience can be influenced by media products which can lead to copycat behaviour. This would mean the audience would remember this game played in ST and motivate them to buy this game. This leads to an old game made almost anew.

I don't know if this maybe just random but if I was answering for a past paper question such as 'Long form television dramas lack originality; no matter which country they are made in, they all use intertextuality in the same way.’
This could definitely show that they lack originality.
Original post by cheadle
You could add a brief explanation what this theory is and say why you think it is relevant to mention it here.
As you can probably tell, I'm avoiding any direct suggestions for what to write as it's essential that it is all your own work.
Already there is a big difference between what you started out with, so you now have an answer to your original question about how to integrate theory into your essays. Trust your instinct about what to include, and take note of the feedback you get (and suggestions for how to improve), and keep building on this in future work. Good luck! (p.s. when you have completed this draft, put it away for a day or two and then do a complete read through before making final revisions).
Reply 13
Thank you for the suggestions you've provided it helps a lot.

Original post by cheadle
Already there is a big difference between what you started out with, so you now have an answer to your original question about how to integrate theory into your essays. Trust your instinct about what to include, and take note of the feedback you get (and suggestions for how to improve), and keep building on this in future work. Good luck! (p.s. when you have completed this draft, put it away for a day or two and then do a complete read through before making final revisions).

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