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AQA AS & A2 Recommended Media Studies Theorists

Rob Miller | Sunday August 31, 2014

Categories: A Level, AQA A Level, AQA A2, AQA AS, Hot Entries, Theory, Media Theorists, Understanding Media, Understanding Key Concepts, Understanding Key Skills, Understanding Key Topics

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  • John Fiske – genre as ‘convenience’ for producers and audiences – this means commercial success is underpinned by the conventions of genre in terms of what audiences expect.
  • Robert Stam – there are infinite genres. Basically here, Stam is advancing an A2 concept that there is an argument that genre no longer exists and we do not have to analyse text in terms of genre.
  • Jane Feuer – genre is abstract and becoming harder to identify.
  • Henry Jenkins – genre break rules and commonly hybridizes. 
  • John Hartley – genre is interpreted culturally e.g. Coronation Street or Eastenders could only be understood in terms of the conventions of UK soap operas, American television dramas tend to have a slightly different set of conventions to British television dramas.
  • Daniel Chandler – genre is too restricting and presents audiences and producers with a creative ‘straightjacket’.
  • Steve Neale – genre as repetition and difference
  • David Buckingham – genre in constant process of negotiation and change
  • Rick Altman – genre offers audiences a ‘set of pleasures’


  • Levi-Strauss: texts are often understood by the ways things are places in binary opposition to each other.
  • Todorov – 4 Act Structure: Equilibrium, Disruption, Resolution, New Equilibrium. Interpretations of Todorov’s theories differ from textbook to textbook.
  • Roland Barthes – 5 narrative codes: Cultural, Semantic, Symbolic, Hermeneutic, Proairetic
  • Goodwin – useful for analysing Music Videos: Thought Beats, Narrative and Performance, The Star Image, Relation of Visuals to the Song and the Technical aspects (composition) of a Music Video.
  • Propp – 8 character roles: only applies to mainstream texts e.g. blockbuster films or Disney films where characters often pertain to stereotype. Sometimes, however you can apply Propp to running news stories by analysing a Hero, Villain, False Hero, Princess (or prize), Her Father,...

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