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OCR AS and A2 Media Studies Theorists

Rob Miller | Monday January 13, 2014

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, OCR A2, OCR AS, Theory, Media Theorists, Admin, Staffroom

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All exam boards have their ‘favourite’ Media theorists – this resource explores both contemporary and historical theory and the different approaches to studying core AS Media Studies concepts of Narrative, Genre, Representation and Audience. For AS Media Studies pupils/students would only be expected to make limited reference to theorists in both G321 and for TV/Radio Drama at G322/G323 (TV Drama and Representation). This resource is a guide only for further research.

Narrative, Genre, Audience, Media Language and Representation theory can also be mapped onto G325 Section A:  Q1 and 1b but dependent on the question areas and dependent on the production work completed by the pupil/student. Below also are suggested theorists whose work can be explored when studying topics offered for G325 Section B: Contemporary Media Issues – it is recommended between 4-6 are referenced in the exam resonse.



  • Levi-Strauss: binary oppositions
  • Todorov – four act structure
  • Roland Barthes – cultural, semantic, symbolic, hermeneutic, proairetic
  • Goodwin – useful for analysing music videos – 6 key features
  • Propp – 8 character roles
  • Lyotard – post modern theory against meta narratives, pro micro narratives and fragmentation
  • Joseph Campbell – monomyths and journeys


  • John Fiske – genre as ‘convenience’ for producers and audiences
  • Henry Jenkins – genre constantly ‘breaks rules’ e.g. evolving hybridization
  • John Hartley – genre is interpreted culturally
  • Daniel Chandler – genre is too restricting
  • Steve Neale – genre as repetition and difference
  • David Buckingham – genre in constant process of negotiation and change
  • Jason Mittell – industry uses genre commercially
  • Barry Keith Grant - on sub genres
  • Rick Altman – genre offers audiences a ‘set of pleasures’


  • Jeremy Tunstall – primary, secondary, tertiary audience engagement
  • Blumler and Katz – uses and...

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