By Sam Pattison Contents Page
Representation Blumler and Katz’s Uses Gratifications Theory Hypothermic Needle Theory Cultivation Theory Laura Mulvey and The Male Gaze Reception Types Censorship Debates Legislation Timeline Demographics and Audience Types Ivan Pavlov’s Dogs and Behavioural Conditioning Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Albert Bandura’s Bobo Doll Experiment and Social Learning Theory Case Study One: “I Want To Break Free” by Queen Case Study Two: “Narcos” by Migos Primary Research: Censorship of Music Videos Survey Primary Research Analysis Secondary Non-Internet Research: Representing Women: Myths of Femininity in Popular Media Appropriate and Official Online Research: Independent Article Bibliography
Research File Should music videos be censored?
Representation Representation- The way in which the media constructs aspects of 'real life', including people, places, events, culture, ethnicity and issues. Key Terms: Mediation- The process of editing and construction that the media text has been exposed to before it is presented to the audience. Denotation- What is shown. Connotation- The meaning/message behind the text/image. Stereotypes as shorthand- Limited time to get character traits across, uses society’s assumptions. Anchorage- The text, captions, or voice over that accompany a text and 'anchor' its meaning. Dominant Ideology- The big, main way of thinking about a subject in the ideas and beliefs presented by society. - "Opinion Leaders" e.g. Ricky Gervais, Emma Watson, Brian May, control and promote dominant ideologies which they consider to be in need of being addressed and being fixed. Ricky Gervais is an opinion leader for atheism and animal rights. Emma Watson is an opinion leader for women's rights. Brian May is an opinion leader for animal rights and in politics too.
Key Areas for Representations Analysis Roles, portrayal, assumptions and commentary on:
Gender Race Society Human Nature
Blumler and Katz's Uses and Gratifications Theory Personal Identity- Who you identify with in media, aspirational/relatable qualities, catharsis, seeing something you relate to in media (Identify). In retrospect, I believe as a child (up to about age 13) I was very much like Rowley Jefferson from the Diary of the Wimpy Kid book/film series due to my overly optimistic attitude and my genuine kindness mixed in with complete obliviousness resulting in me not always receiving the same kindness back all of the time from everybody and not even realising it.
Personal Relationships- Things you bond with people over in media, things you have in common with people, interacting with the audience, social empathy (Social Interaction). I have similar music tastes to a fair few of my friends so therefore we are able to bond over how much we like or even dislike a song, artist, album or genre. Even how much we like or dislike a music video too! Because of this we are able to develop a stronger bond and become better friends as a result. Surveillance- News, documentary, anything that is factual, what you take away from it/what you learn (Educate). I have similar music tastes to a fair few of my friends so therefore we are able to bond over how much we like or even dislike a song, artist, album or genre. Even how much we like or dislike a music video too! Because of this we are able to develop a stronger bond and become better friends as a result.
Diversion- Using different sources of media to distract ourselves and to help us escape from our mundane lives and relax, seeing the world through TV/film, taking views from TV/film. (Escape)
Many people use Netflix (TV) as a way to distract themselves from their daily mundane lives and as a way to relax and escape from reality temporarily.
Hypothermic Needle Theory The 'hypodermic needle theory' implied mass media had a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audiences. The mass media in the 1940s and 1950s were perceived as a powerful influence on behaviour change.
Things to note about the 'hypodermic needle theory': It was developed in the 1920s and 1930s. It is a linear communication theory. It highlights how passive audiences are. There is no individual difference. An example of the theory in action is “The War of the Worlds” radio broadcast (1938).
Orson Welles (pictured on the left with his arms raised), the narrator and d0069rector of the “The War of the Worlds”, during the infamous broadcast.
The Boston Daily Globe newspaper with the headline “Radio Play Terrifies Nation” in reference to “The War of the Worlds” broadcast.
Cultivation Theory George Gerbner
Dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania.
Started the 'Cultural Indicators' research project in the mid-1960s.
This research project studied whether and how watching television may influence viewers' ideas of what the everyday world is like.
Through reception, attitudes, ideas and values may become normalised or 'naturalised'.
Simply accepted rather than considered or questioned.
The audience becomes desensitised towards harmful or violent representations through repetition.
Cultivation theorists argue that television has long-term effects which are small, gradual, indirect but cumulative and significant. Therefore, that means that eventually all of the effects may result in an action caused by the slow but serious build-up of a barrier from attitudes, ideas and ideas that have become normalised/naturalised and just accepted rather than actually being questioned or even considered. Because if they were then there would be a lot more self-awareness present meaning that the dangerous effects of just receiving everything as it is would be no longer.
Laura Mulvey and The Male Gaze What is 'The Male Gaze'?
The 'Male Gaze' is a term coined by a feminist theorist Laura Mulvey in her 1975 Essay- 'Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema'.
The 'Male Gaze' means that all women in films and the media industry are portrayed as nothing more than sexual objects to be 'gazed upon' for heterosexual male pleasure.
Mulvey also argued that traditional Hollywood films were filmed to fulfil men's "scopophilla": the sexual pleasure involved in looking.
YouTube Video Notes Subjects- Act Objects- Acted Upon
Sexual Objectification- The viewing of people solely as de-personalised objects of desire instead of as individuals with complex personalities and desires/plans of their own.
Sex Objects- There to have sex with.
Objectification is often confused with being sexual or being sexually attracted to someone, they're completely different. Being sexual or sexually attracted to someone is natural whereas objectification (portraying women as sex objects for male pleasure on the other hand is manufactured.
Subject status ---> Mostly seen in terms of ---> Personality, skills, intellect, humour, kindness, loyalty and other personalized traits
Object status ---> Mostly seen in terms of ---> Sexual desire
Self-Objectification- Seeing yourself in terms of how sexually desirable you are to others.
The average women monitors her body every 30 seconds.
Study participants exposed to sexually objectifying imagery were more tolerant of sexual harassment and rape myths.
Mulvey's Theory suggests that women who watch films can only see the female characters in the films as a less important to the male lead and can only see the female characters from a man's perspective.
Women are then more prone to gaze upon other women in the same way that men do therefore end up objectifying women themselves in real life.
Most female characters in films and the media are only to play a 'secondary character' to support the male lead.
Reception Types David Moorley, a Psychologist conducted studies in the 70’s and 80’s into how audiences reacted to television programming.
Dominant (or 'hegemonic') reading A dominant (or ‘hegemonic’) reading means the reader shares the programme's 'code' (its meaning system of values, attitudes, beliefs and assumptions) and fully accepts the programme's 'preferred reading' (a reading which may not have been the result of any conscious intention on the part of the programme makers).
Negotiated reading A negotiated reading means the reader partly shares the programme's code and broadly accepts the preferred reading, but modifies it in a way which reflects their position and interests.
Oppositional (‘counter-hegemonic’) reading The reader does not share the programme's code and rejects the preferred reading, bringing to bear an alternative frame of interpretation.
Mainstream cinemas didn't show any video nasties.
It got very 'snowy' when the gory bits were approaching due to the constant rewinding of the tape.
VHS vs Betamax was the videotape format war.
In the 1960s books began to became censored and were looked at in detail if they caused a stir.
Previous moral panic was about horror comic books.
The Rats and Crabs on the Rampage are a couple of examples of video nasty books.
Low resolution, bad quality.
The worse quality added to the disturbing factor of the video nasties.
Peter Chipendale coined the term 'video nasties'.
Mutilations, gang rape, exorcisms, human sacrifices etc.
They were sold in video shops but they were also just sold in normal shops in general too. They were sold in video stores as well.
The covers were synonymous in their own right.
Covers and adverts aimed to be as disgusting as possible while still keeping within the guidelines.
NO CENSORSHIP whatsoever on the video nasties.
They replaced party games at parties (for people aged 12-16 years old).
The BVA proposed a voluntary rating application for the video nasties- The problem was not all video nasty video makers oblige.
Mary Whitehouse lead the war against the video nasties, with help from Margret Thatcher who was looking for a way to gain the moral high ground as riots, the Falklands War etc. meant she was generally just seen as a horrible person.
The newspapers, especially the Daily Mail, were making video nasties seem way worse than they actually were but they were highlighting important issues in the video nasties as well so although the reaction was over the top something positive came of it so all of the uproar was worth it in the end.
Legislation Timeline 1909- The Cinematograph Act authorities the power to provide cinemas in their region.
arrives giving local or withhold licenses for
1912- The British Board of Film Censors is created by a burgeoning film industry as a means of ensuring uniformity for film classification decisions. 1932- The H certificate is introduced by the BBFC. H is an advisory certificate that tells the public that a film has a horror theme and is not suitable for children.
1952- As a result of changes to the Cinematograph Act, the X certificate is introduced. No children under the age of 16 are allowed to see an X film. This is the first mandatory age-restricted category. 1960- In the first famous trial using the new Obscene Publications Act, D H Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover becomes freely available for the first time in 32 years. The book is deemed art rather than pornography. 1970- The age limit on the X category is raised from 16 to 18. The advisory U and categories are introduced along with the AA category that allows admission to those aged 14 and over. 1982- The BBFC rating system is overhauled with the introduction of the PG, 15, 18 and R18 categories. The first film rated PG is Return Of The Soldier. 1984- The Video Recordings Act (VRA) is passed and the BBFC becomes the designated authority for rating videos 'for suitability within the home'. The BBFC becomes the British Board of Film Classification. 1989- Tim Burton's Batman becomes the first 12 rated film in the cinema. Children under 12 cannot view this in the cinema. This category is only available for theatrical releases. 1994- An amendment is made to the VRA in the wake of the Jamie Bulger case. The BBFC is asked to pay 'special regard to any harm that may be caused to potential viewers... or society...' in any given video or video game.2002- Following an extended period of consultation, the 12 category for cinema is replaced with the advisory 12A. The first film to sport the new category is The Bourne Identity.
Demographics and Audience Types Audience Profiling The media industry is highly competitive and all media texts are created with a target audience in mind. If there isn't an audience for a media text then it won't be successful either in getting its message across or, if it is a commercial media text, making money for the producers.
Media producers use audience research and analysis to find out as much as possible about their target audience and use that research to ensure their production will appeal to them, this process is called audience profiling.
Demographic (Basic Information) Media producers define and categorise their audience through demographic profiles. A demographic audience profile defines groups based on things like age, gender, location and occupation. Geodemographic is another way as it allows the companies to look at where the audience lives i.e. council estate, crowded city or rural area as these audiences would probably watch different types of programme.
Psychographic (What you like and how you act) Psychographics is the study of personality, values, attitudes and lifestyles. Psychographic analysis is based upon different personality traits, values, attitudes, hobbies, interests and lifestyle of consumers. Some companies use a Psychometric Audience Profile to define their audience. This analyses how they think by considering their values, attitudes and lifestyle (VALs).
Socio Economic Some companies will want to target an audience with a specific amount of money. This can be defined through their social status i.e. working class, middle class, upper class. This also considers factors such as earning power and profession i.e. (employed, unemployed, homeowner, renting, car owner, public transport, holidays per year UK and/or abroad). Letter codes are often used to describe social status groups these are called Social Grades: ď‚ˇ
A- Upper Middle Class
B- Middle Class
C1- Lower Middle Class
C3- Skilled Middle Class
D- Working Class
E- Those at the lowest level of subsistence
Is it mainstream? This is linked to what is most popular i.e. certain film companies such as 'Warner Bros', 'Paramount', 'Disney' etc, all are leading production companies that film makers trust and will use due to better financing, the use of cast and crew, the amount of releases hitting high ratings and many more reasons. What can we say about the audience? They follow the crowd, very passive, they see whatever is popular and just go with the flow.
Is it Alternative? (Independent Production) Films or shows with smaller budgets and sometimes as a result, lower production values. They are less likely to have so called A-list actors. Examples might be Juno, Birdman or Brooklyn. What can we say about the audience? They follow their interests more, more underground, more serious film fanbases, they go and see a film based on whether they think they'll like the story rather than because it's just popular.
Is it Niche? (Very specific and specialised) What examples can you think of? The Beast of Yucca Flats, The Forbidden Room, The Hiding Place etc. What can we say about the target audience? Very obscure, possibly outsiders, not as easily pleased as mainstream film fans. Useful Websites:
Ivan Pavlovâ€™s Dogs and Behavioural Conditioning
The way Ivan Pavlovâ€™s Dogs and Behavioural Conditioning relates to my essay about the censorship of music videos is the way in which the demographic of heterosexual males associates women with little to no clothes on with the Migos and they are therefore impressed with the Migos and as a result they are drawn to them and their music.
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
The way Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs relates to my essay is because the music video for “I Want To Break Free” by Queen [ CITATION Que84 \l 2057 ] makes the viewer feel the psychological needs, the safety needs and the belongingness and love needs when watching the video. Especially if the person watching is transgender or at the very least wishes that they were female.
Albert Bandura’s Bobo Doll Experiment and Social Learning Theory
The way Albert Bandura’s Bobo Doll Experiment and Social Learning Theory relates to my essay is because of the violence in the music video for “Narcos” by Migos [ CITATION Mig18 \l 2057 ] in the form of weapons, to be specific, machine guns. This is important for music videos because if children or vulnerable people watch videos like [ CITATION Mig18 \l 2057 ] and start acting aggressive and violently then it is due to the music video influencing them and making them want to replicate what they see in the music video as much as they can. This is due to their impressionable minds making them believe that what they see in explicit music videos is acceptable to do and that it is way that they should be trying to behave.
Case Study One: “I Want To Break Free” by Queen
[ CITATION Que84 \l 2057 ]
The Video for “I Want To Break Free” by Queen is a great example of a music video being unfairly censored as it is, if anything promoting a message of positivity and acceptance, and although it was received well in the UK. In the United States however it was not received well at all as the TV show it was based off of, popular British Soap ‘Coronation Street’, did not air anywhere in the US meaning that it was banned by MTV. It was banned due to how homophobic and prejudicial the media in the 1980s (this video came out in 1983) was, especially in the Midwest of America. This in my opinion is completely disgusting and it only restricts the freedom of expression that everybody is entitled to and it also setbacks the progression of LGBTQ rights by supressing the ability of people to be who they want truly want to be. Interestingly enough, Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen was the member of the band who caught the most backlash for the video even though it was the drummer Roger Taylor who came up with the idea for the video and it was the bassist of the band John Deacon who wrote the song who is a married man with four children, so the likelihood of the song being about wanting to break free from a heterosexual lifestyle is highly unlikely. However, the homophobic and transphobic media simply didn’t seem to care about this fact as they already had reason in their minds to blame Freddie as the AIDS virus had just become a serious issue and because it was transferred via anal sex and because he was known for being bisexual, the blame fell on him.
Case Study Two: “Narcos” by Migos
[ CITATION Mig18 \l 2057 ]
The video for “Narcos” by Migos is just one of many examples of sexualisation of women in music videos as well as an example of the frequent and excessive use of drugs and weapons in music videos too. Unfortunately, this is all but too common in today’s media because many music videos, predominantly in the rap genre, feature females who have an unnecessary amount of skin showing which is promoting the wrong message and installing the wrong ideals and beliefs into the children who are watching the videos. But also, people who are easily influenced and may be slightly vulnerable will just accept what they see for what it is and therefore they won’t question it at all. As a result, they will grow up and live with an attitude that is harmful and disrespectful towards women which is why the sexualisation of women in the media needs to be stopped and a reason why the censorship of music videos is a good idea. Also, the excessive use and inclusion of drugs and weapons is also quite detrimental to the minds of children and to those who are more vulnerable and easily influenced too because through repetition and glorification they have become something to be desired when honestly they shouldn’t be as craved as they are because they aren’t easily obtainable things and they aren’t really things people should be aiming to obtain in life as there are many other things they should be trying to achieve. This supports the cultivation theory because the sexualisation of women is not questioned when it honestly should be because it’s genuinely horrible and disgusting and it’s not right at all.
Primary Research: Censorship of Music Videos Survey
Primary Research Analysis The primary research (both qualitative and quantitative data) I have conduced shows firstly that everyone who took my survey was between the age of 16 and 19 years old and that 4 (66.67%) of the people who answered the survey were female whereas 2 (33.33%) of the people who answered the survey were male. The question I asked after ‘How old are you?’ and ‘What is your gender?’ was ‘How many music videos would you say you watch in a week?’ and the majority of people went with 4 music videos as 3 people (50.00%) chose it and then the rest of the answers were 1 person (16.67%) went with 1 music video, 1 person (16.67%) went with 3 music videos, 1 person (16.67%) went with 5 music videos and 1 person (16.67) went with 7 or more music videos. Then in the next question I asked ‘How much do you feel that the music videos you watch/have watched shape your morals/ideals and ideas/beliefs towards certain topics and/or issues in society?’ and the average number collected was 44, the total number was 262, which means that the average answer to the question was just under a bit (just before the middle of the scale) so on average people don’t think they’ve been influenced a lot but they do believe that their morals/ideals and ideas/beliefs may have been at least a little bit shaped or that they are a little bit shaped by music videos. The question after that was ‘Do you think that people who are of a vulnerable nature should have their access to music videos restricted?’ and the majority of people, which was 3 people (50.00%), said no but however 2 people (33.33%) said yes and 1 person (16.67%) said
that they weren’t sure/they didn’t know. Then, in the next question I asked ‘If you answered ‘Yes’ to the previous question, why?’ to which 2 people responded because obviously, 2 people answered ‘Yes’ question 5. The 2 answers I got were “I think that they should have someone monitor what they watch if they’re young but if not just restrict themselves for their safety or safety of others” and “certain people with mental health conditions may be affected by what they see in explicit videos”. These 2 answers suggest that one person who agreed believes that if they are young then there should be someone monitoring what they watch but if not then they should just restrict themselves for their own safety and the safety of others and the other person who agreed believes that certain people who have mental health conditions may possibly be affected by what they see in explicit and uncensored music videos so their access to music videos should be at least somewhat restricted with their mental state in mind. Question 7 was ‘What genre of music would you say is the worst when it comes to censored music videos?’ and the majority of people which was 3 (50.00%) went with rap/hip-hop but 2 people (33.33%) did go with pop and 1 person (16.67%) decided to choose R&B. This shows that rap music is generally considered the genre of music with the most explicit content due to the more common use of drugs, alcohol, violence and sexualisation of women compared to other genres of music. The question after that was ‘Would you agree that the extreme growth and rapid expansion of the internet as a whole have made it harder to censor music videos?’ which 5 people (83.33%) agreed with but 1 person (16.67%) decided they weren’t sure about it/they didn’t know so the overwhelming majority of people agreed that music videos as a whole have become harder to censor because of the extreme growth and rapid expansion of the internet. The final question was ‘If you answered ‘Disagree’ to the previous question, why?’ but no one disagreed with question 8 so I received no responses to it.
Secondary Non-Internet Research: Representing Women: Myths of Femininity in the Popular Media
[ CITATION Myr95 \l 2057 ]
The information in [ CITATION Myr95 \l 2057 ] that I found on this page, specifically on page 107, is related to the sexualisation of women and censorship of music videos because the way it talks about how “Advertising and fashion features in women’s magazines still regularly present women in narcissistic poses, enthralled by their own mystery. Self-contemplation and self-absorption envelop the woman in a shrine of her own making, and poise the spectator uneasily between the contradictions of identification and voyeurism that Mulvey sees as characteristic of the ‘male gaze’ (1975, p.10).” I think will help to develop my point of the way in which woman are viewed in the media and how that is due to the male gaze being a shared viewpoint by some people in society so as a result it continues to still exist within our society.
Appropriate and Official Online Research: Independent Article
[CITATION Gri14 \l 2057 ]
In the article ‘A history of music censorship’ it talks about how being censored is taking away people’s freedom of expression and at the same time quite possibly lighting a fuse in some people to fight against things being censored that they believe shouldn’t be touched at all. Specifically in the article, the part where it says “Music censorship has a long history. As early as 1940 George Formby had his song “When I’m Cleaning Windows” banned due to its alleged smutty lyrics!!! The Sex Pistols infamous Jubilee punk anthem ‘God Save The Queen’ suffered a similar fate, and one of my favourite anarcho-punk bands Crass, had to suffer the indignity of a record pressing plant refusing to press the song, “Reality Asylum”, accusing Crass of blasphemy. Instead, they had on the record a blank space with silence in its place, which Crass humorously dubbed “The sound of free speech” in protest.” Is a very important part of the article in the way in which it gives many examples of free speech (freedom of expression) being breached upon and unfairly taken away because of the unreasonable censorship of music as a whole.
Bibliography Cole, S. (2000). 'Don We Now Our Gay Apparel' Gay Men's Dress in the Twentieth Century. Oxford New York: Berg. Grimes, M. (2014, January 12). Voices. Retrieved from Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/a-history-of-music-censorship9051887.html Louann Brizendine, M. (2010). The Male Brain. London New York: Transworld Publishers Broadway Books. MacDonald, M. (1995). Representing Women: Myths of Femininity in the Popular Media. London New York: Arnold. Migos- Narcos. (2018, June 27). Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=unh8kWUuNt4 Queen- I Want To Break Free (Official Video). (1984). Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4Mc-NYPHaQ
My research file for Unit 4: Critical and contextual awareness in creative media production (With Great Power...).
Published on Mar 14, 2019
My research file for Unit 4: Critical and contextual awareness in creative media production (With Great Power...).