Representation of Transgender People on Television

Textual Analysis & Representation

This is an area which we haven’t explored as much as the others so I thought I’d put something together.

Here’s a lesson plan and glossary terms which you will find really helpful:lesson_transgender_representations

Here’s an article from GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) where they review the last ten years of trans representation.

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Here’s a pretty good Prezi about representation of trans people from the past to the present. Some cool things in it which could be useful.

And from The Independent:

TV has hit a record high for black and transgender representation, GLAAD report finds

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But remember, it is all about how:

  • Mise-en-scene
  • Position, movement, proxemics
  • Editing
  • Sound

is used to represent trans people. We will look at a clip from either Transparent or Orange is the New Black in class today and apply our understanding of ideology and representation to it. We’ll be focusing on how the technical areas challenge or conform to ideological representations of trans people and issues.

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Life Stinks (and that’s ok)

Mock Exam results are almost upon us! This is a critical time of the academic year and how you respond to your result can have far-reaching consequences. So, I’ve made you a short podcast to listen to all about resilience and coping with failure.

The image is taken from that time a seagull crapped on my leg as I was walking to work.

Genre Theory Applied to Coursework

Today we are going to start to look at how to apply advanced genre theory to coursework in preparation for the Theoretical Application of Coursework exam (Section A Question 1b)

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I have taken the following from the Edusites Media page, so it is really useful! We are going to go through in class and then look at wider reading to help support you. You’ll be having a timed exam question next week.

Analyse Genre in one of your Coursework Productions

“I will be analysing my thriller opening sequence which I filmed and edited as my main task which formed part of my Foundation Portfolio in Media. In class, we studied genre in existing Thrillers such as Psycho, Seven, Man with the Golden Arm, Taken 3 and to learn about genre hybridisation – Skyfall and Escape Plan. This enabled us to fully understand how genre can be applied to our own productions”.

  • Example early analysis – my opening sequence uses an emotive, dramatic range of diegetic and non-diegetic sound to build tension – shouting, helicopters sounds, explosions and a smash of glass. Think about developing Steve Neale’s theory of repetition and difference in your early statements.
  • Do you have close ups of the protagonist (which is not necessarily a convention of the Thriller) but ultimately helps to anchor any underlying dramatic tension and plants narrative enigmas – it is wholly appropriate to link narrative to an essay on genre as narrative elements can be ‘typical’ of the genre.
  • Analyse the non-diegetic soundtrack (important in thrillers) – think about how you establish mood and tone and how audiences become familiar with the mindset of the character/s and his/her/their intentions. Hitchcock’s Psycho takes a similar approach. Link this with John Hartley who suggests that genre is interpreted culturally (by the audience – so link your audience here).
  • Do you use of SFX/violence – common to the genre? If not, link this with possible hybridisation – do you evidence comedy, social realist conventions for example. Narrative action sequences are likely to mix with narrative enigma codes – thrillers often have bigger budgets to attract a wider audience (John Fiske suggests genre “is a convenience for producers and audiences”) in relation to production and distribution.
  • Genre hybridisation (or not) should be a key focus using Henry Jenkins: “Genres should not be understood as rules or restrictions” (pro hybridisation)- “my sequence is arguably a hybrid of a thriller and (for example social realism) with its gritty urban representations and a frustrated, aspirational central protagonist who is trying to escape from a downward spiral”.
  • Does your trailer have a standard, mainstream opening sequence as part of a three-act structure – setting, character and problem introduced? Again, common to the genre withProppian protagonists often introduced early on (hero, false hero, villain).
  • Is your thriller typically British or Americanised? Link this with the thrillers you have studied. Using Hartley again, British thrillers tend to have more obvious, encoded narrative themes e.g. “my film is a culturally British Thriller that would have initially independent distribution and more critical success that some more commercially successful American Thrillers like Escape Plan”.
  • David Buckingham is a useful theorist to end on: “Genre is not simply given by the culture; rather it is in a constant process of negotiation and change” (reflects changing societal norms). Discuss how your film reflects how society has changed (think about the examples your have studied) and how this would be understood by audiences within the framework of the narrative.

Remember, as with all 1b answers your 30-minute essay will need to balance close textual analysis and theory applying relevant media language.

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Introduction to Critical Thinking

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 10.08.42The philosophy instructor Geoff Pynn of Northern Illinois University and doctoral students Kelley Schiffman of Yale, Paul Henne of Duke, and several other philosophy and psychology graduates have produced this excellent series of animated philosophy videos which will teach you all about Critical Thinking.

You can watch the introduction right here but check their YouTube channel for the remaining videos.

The Reading List

I have a made a summer ‘reading list’ for you. I am not expecting you to read everything on the list but I do expect you to read at least two of the links I’ve given. I will also be expecting you to write a response to what you have read. If you’re unsure about which ones to read then we can discuss in class.


Here is a list of recommended things you should read to help you with A Level Media Studies and your studies in general. A collection of academia, novels and essays. They are all inspirational and will help you see the world as a more interesting place.

Summer Reading List July – Sept 2016


You should also watch this 57 minute lecture on the Essential Value of a Classic Education by Jeffrey Brenzel

AS Exam Structure – Section B

Hi Everyone

Remember, in the exam you have to time it carefully yourself. You need to ensure you leave yourself 45 minutes to answer the Section B question on Institutions and Audiences (the music industry).

You must have detailed Case Study information for this question. You should know the following about your Record Label:

  • Issues around distribution
  • Audience consumption
  • The role of technology and how it has effected the label, artist and audience
  • File Sharing issues
  • Ownership – who owns the label, is part of the Big Three? Does it work with other companies to distribute?

Remember to refer back to the question and your Case Study throughout the answer. Lots of data and research.

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