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Explore Audience &


representation of gender in
Beyonc's music video Run
the World (Girls).

LO What information needs to be included in a audience/


representation essay?

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Requirements

Use technical terms e.g. long shot, high angle,


transitions, connotation, stereotype, representation
Explain how the music video reinforces or subverts
gender stereotypes
Show how the music video creates connotations and
how these might appeal/ positions and respond to the
audience

Music Videos

What is a music video?


Why do music videos exist?
What are the codes and
conventions?

What are your expectations of


music videos?
Narrative
(how the story is
told/ the order)

Visual
effects

Characters /
Representation

Conventions

Mise-en-scene:
Lighting, costume,
make up, setting

Sound
Editing: pace/
sequences/ rhythm

Camera
work

What are music videos?

Short films or videos that


accompany a piece of
popular music.

Genre conventions?
List

Genre conventions

The video is editing to the pace and rhythm of the song


An element of performance is present in the video
A lack of diegetic sound or ambient sound
A connection between the narrative and themes of the video
and lyrics of the song
The artists presence in the video
The lyrics of the song influence what is shown in the video (Mise
en Scene)
The pace of editing fits the pace of the music (beat matching)
The codes of dress reflect the mood of the song

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Music Video Conventions


What conventions do you notice in the
following videos?
Katy Perry - Roar
Rihanna Stay
Macklemore Cant Hold Us

Purpose?
Taskcreate a list in pairs of the purpose of
music videos

The purpose of the Music Video


Promotes a single and, normally, an album (marketing!)

Promotes the artist or band


Creates, adapts or feeds into a star image
Entertains the audience
Sets the meanings of a song by the use of images
To promote the director many film directors began in music
videos
To represent the ideology of the institution, and deliver a
message to the audience.

What is Ideology?
An ideology is a world view, a system of values,
attitudes and beliefs which an individual, group
or society holds to be true or important; these
are shared by a culture or society about how
that society should function.

Representation:
Music videos display a certain ideology.
Mainstream genres will often reinforce dominant
values and display stereotypes in order to have mass
appeal.
While more alternative artists may feature shocking or
unconventional imagery and messages in their videos
in order to appear anti-establishment.

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Pop Video Conventions

Bright and colourful.


Close ups show happiness.
Extreme close ups innocence of artist.
Very upbeat

Examples:
Britney Spears
Madonna

Today!

Milestone feedback
Reinforce audience/ representation
Storyboard Feedback - improvements
Ideas for thrillers

Top Boy feedback


Lack of specific analysis, technical & visual &
terminology
Target audience could be identified better
Remember positive/ negative to
what/whom?(active audience Better to say a
traditional/ contempory representation or Older
audience might accept the preferred/ dominant
reading because or a young black male audience
with a similar cultural experience might have
negotiated reading
No mention of culture/ cultural competence/
situated culture

Reference to purpose? Teaser trailer short


amount of time to engage audience and
entice them to watch the show, so use of
stereotypes helpful(shorthand)
Respond due to desentization/ hyperreality
(shaped by other texts)
Preferred, negotiated, oppositional
Extend to why stereotypes existdominant
ideologies reinforcing/ subverting to support
hegemonic power eg. Masculinitysupport
Marxism view Keep ruling elite in power?
Support Feminist viewor intensify drama?

Uses and gratifications / utopian solutions not


addressed
U&G - Relate to the character (personal identity)
supported by Richard Dyers theory that the
media offer us something that is lacking in
modern life. In this case Intensity created by the
fast paced editing linked with the close up shots
of the protagonist running and the increasing
tempo of non diegetic music connoting a racing
heartbeattarget teenage boys lacking this
need main audience for action films which
share these codes and conventions.

stereotypes comfort the older audience by


reinforcing their view of the world
continuity?
I want a better life to challenge (C4
education remit) older audiences watching for
surveillance reasons by offering an alternative
perspective (not only dangerous) but use of
dialogue may also reinforce the stereotype of
the pitied to those older audiences
sympathetic to the wider political - social
reasons.camera slowly dollys out on
Deshane connoting he is on his own without
help.

Tonight Matthew

Line 1 (pick a number 1 to 5)


Line 2 (Pick a number 1 or 2)
Line 3 (Pick a number 1 to 5)
Line 4 (pick a number 1 to 4)

Age range
1. 10-14

2. 15-24 3. 35-44 4. 45-54 5. 55+

Gender
1. Male 2. Female

Fans of
1. Fans of Beyonce 2. Fans of RnB 3. Fans of Pop
4. Fans of classical 5. Fans of Indie Rock
Ethnicity and religion
1. White 2. Black 3. Asian 3. Christian 4. Muslim

Continue Task

Which group member is Targeted


Attracted by
What is the Appeal
Positioned with or as
Respond in what way
View the Representation/ stereotypes

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Our Video of Focus


Run the World (Girls)
What is the narrative of the video?
Where is it set?

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Types of music videos


Performance (appeal of shared Genre
conventions? Pleasure!)
Mainly focus on the artist or band playing the
music
No narrative
Wide variety of camera angles which are regularly
repeated

LO What information needs to be included in a


representation essay?

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Types of music videos


Narrative (Clear linear narrative target
younger/ older/ mainstream audiences)
Follows a clear story line that reflects the song
lyrics
Performer may be involved in the story, may also
be kept separate

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Types of music videos


Concept (Appeal to more alternative
audience?)
Based around a central idea
Often concentrate on specific editing techniques
Look unusual
Her Morning Elegance / Oren Lavie

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Target Audiences
Who is the target audience (TA) for the
video?
Primary/ secondary
How does the video appeal to this TA?

Target Audience
Primary audience: Teenage girls/young
women, who are fans of pop/ RnB music.
Secondary audience: Teenage boys/young
men, who are fans of pop/ RnB music.
More detail more points!!!!

Helpful hints

Empowering message - that women "run the world".


Egyptian headdress
Beyonce's costumes are very provocative
Beyonce is seen taking the wallet from a man
The video features a range of interesting and attractive
fashions
Beyonce uses many sexual poses and dance moves.
a mid-shot of Beyonce in chains
Long shot holding two hyena's which she whips into control
a post-apocalyptic state / dystopia
Beyonce has two male bodyguards stood in front of her

How do different texts target their


audience?

The track features an empowering message - that women "run the world". The
Cleopatra headdress connotes power- this links to Egyptian matriarchy. It may
appeal to young women/teenage girls, who may aspire to be confident and
dominant. Teenage girls may find her role model gratifying in this it helps them
create a sense of personal identity (Blumler & Katz), teaching them how to be
attractive and in control.
Beyonce's costumes are very provocative, revealing her cleavage and exposing her
thighs. The "skimpy" and "sensual" costumes may appeal to the sexual desires of
young men. However, it also provides a model of behaviour for young women
who want to know how to look appealing.
Beyonce is seen taking the wallet from a man, and he appears powerless and
doesn't protest. This appeals to young women's desires to be in control of men.
The video features a range of interesting and attractive fashion. The fashion may
appeal to women's desire to look attractive, but also to express themselves
through their clothing.
Beyonce uses many sexual poses and dance moves. The dance moves may appeal
to men as it may offer them some sexual arousal (Blumler & Katz).

How are audiences positioned in


this text?

The text has tried to position the audience to agree with what Beyonce is trying to
portray - that women "run the world". Beyonce is shown to be in command of all
the women dancers and the male prisoners. When she dances the rest of the girls
follow her lead and she is always at the forefront of every dance and singing part,
reinforcing the idea that she is the wizard that runs the world. This challenges
Berger's observation that, in art, "men act and women appear".
Women are positioned as being matriarchal by proving she is more powerful, by
the men being scared of her and stepping back when she walks towards them. The
lyrics Who run the world girls positioned the audience to think women are
powerful by suggesting that they are in control of the world and the men have to
listen to them.
The video subverts the idea that women are repressed, there is a mid-shot of
Beyonce in chains reinforcing the notion of patriarchy. There is a straight cut to a
long shot of Beyonce, where we see the chains are actually holding two hyena's
which she whips into control, connoting she is powerful and dominant. This could
also position the audience to consider the hyenas as how Beyonce sees men weaker than her and she is in power over them.

Beyonce takes the wallet from the man, showing she has ownership over
the man. The man does not protest symbolizing he is scared of her and
she is in control. This subverts the stereotype of women being passive
(John Berger). The audience are made to think that women are sexy. This
is portrayed through the fact that Beyonce is in control of two Hyenas
(wild animals renowned for being hard to control) - suggesting again that
they are dominant. Also the mise-en-scene of the video is showing the
world in a post-apocalyptic state which could suggest that the answer to
the lyrics Who run the world? was men and that they screwed up and
now women are in charge trying to sort everything out - equilibrium and
disequilibrium.
The use of the Egyptian headdress suggests that she is powerful, this
positions the audience to think of her as a modern day Cleopatra and
being in control.

How might audiences respond to


this text?

As Stuart Hall has argued, audience can oppose the intended message of a text.
This is very true of the Beyonce video for the song Run the World (girls), which
many people have read as sexist and patriarchal.
It could be argued that Beyonce and all of the background dancers are catering for
the male gaze, which is demonstrating that the only reason that they are seen as
powerful is because they arent wearing many clothes which entices men, and
apparently means that the females can control men through their looks and
seduction alone (reinforcing the Beauty Myth (Naomi Wolf)). At the beginning of
the video, Beyonce thrusts her breasts, which instantly positions her as catering for
the male gaze (Laura Mulvey).
Although Beyonce is positioned to Run the World, which is a positive thing, the
world that she in fact runs appears from the mise-en-scene to be a crime ridden,
messy, unappealing, world, we can see this though the visual signifiers of dust
bins on fire, deserted bikes, burnt out cars and so on. This portrays her as being a
poor leader of the world that she is supposedly running with all of the girls.
This positions girls in a negatively and harsh light, seeing that they are running a
world that is so out of control.
The fact that all the way through the music video Beyonce has two male
bodyguards stood in front of her shows that, although the females are being
portrayed as powerful, they still need men to protect them.

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Representation
However realistic or compelling some media images
seem, they never represent the world directly. They are
always a construction, a re-presentation, rather than a
clear window on the real world
Some media re-present certain images, stories and
situations which might make them seem
natural/familiar.
LO What information needs to be included in a
representation essay?

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Stereotypes
What is a stereotype?
What are common stereotypes of men and
women?

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Stereotypes
What is the traditional male stereotype?
Appearance
Personality

LO What information needs to be included in a


representation essay?

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Male Stereotypes

LO What information needs to be included in a


representation essay?

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Stereotypes
What is the traditional female stereotype?
Appearance
Personality

LO What information needs to be included in a


representation essay?

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Female Stereotypes

LO What information needs to be included in a


representation essay?

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Stereotypes

Which of the below images conform to gender


representations and which subvert?

LO What information needs to be included in a


representation essay?

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Stereotypes
How are women/men represented in the music
video?
Does this reflect the world we live in?
How does the Music video reinforce or subvert
female stereotypes?
What thoughts might a woman/male have watching
this music video?
LO What information needs to be included in a
representation essay?

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Stereotypes
How are men represented in the music video?
Does this reflect the world we live in?

How does the advert reinforce or subvert male


stereotypes?
What thoughts might a woman/male have watching
this music video?
LO What information needs to be included in a
representation essay?

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Stereotypes
The media plays a strong role in constructing gender
roles.
Most product invoke gender identity, allowing
notions of femininity and masculinity to provide a
meaningful system of difference that helps products
to be associated with particular gender
for example; men = shaving, driving fast cars, having
hearty appetites juxtaposed against women =
applying make-up, in the home, eating lightly

LO What information needs to be included in a


representation essay?

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Stereotypes
Some music videos create meaning by subverting
these roles, playing with audience expectation and
saying something new about the artist or band and
their audience through this exchange.
Does our video conform or subvert to gender
stereotypes?

LO What information needs to be included in a


representation essay?

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Stereotypes
How are females represented in the modern world?

LO What information needs to be included in a


representation essay?

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Stereotypes
How are females represented in the modern world?

LO What information needs to be included in a


representation essay?

Storyboards improvements

Narrative
Shot length
Missing details
Lack of accuracy
Thriller conventions
Trailer conventions
Comments link to target audience

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