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AQA 7572 A Level Media Paper 2 Indicative Content

Morag Larsen | Sunday November 06, 2016

Categories: A Level, AQA A Level

Figure 1:

Front cover of GQ magazine featuring the Hollywood actor Ryan Gosling.

Q1 – 9 marks

Analyse Figure 1 reflecting on how the cover acts to construct ideas about masculine identity.

This question seeks to assess the student’s ability to apply their knowledge of the way media language is chosen and combined to create meaning particularly focusing on the way representations act to construct ideas about identity.

In the analysis of the GQ cover, students are expected to apply their knowledge of the way the media can construct and communicate ideas about identity (Gauntlett). Answers in the higher bands are likely to critically evaluate the nature of the identity being constructed whilst those in the lower bands are likely to provide examples and describe.

Theoretical ideas from representation theory including ideas of identity could be used to discuss the meanings created by the front cover. These could include (but not be limited to):

  • The repetition and/or subversion of common stereotypes of masculinity
  • The way representations often reinforce dominant values
  • The way media products can define identity
  • The way audiences can use the media to help them define their identity
  • The way audiences can select aspects of identity from media products
  • The way media producers can use ideas about identity to appeal to and attract audiences

In their analysis students could consider:

  • The way the image and the words combine to create an idealised idea of masculine identity
  • The nature of the type of masculine identity communicated in the use of costume and the choice of model for the front cover
  • The nature of the type of idealised masculinity communicated in the cover-lines


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