Monday, 7 May 2012

Evaluation - "How does your media product represent particular social groups?"

Okay, it's about time I did something productive! One of the tasks set is to look at the ways in which different social groups are represented in our coursework piece.

There are three main things in which we can see represented: age (teenage kids), social status/class and gender (male).

Our cast consists of three teenage kids. There are several ways in which we have met the stereotypes regarding youngsters in the film opening.

One of the common beliefs about teenage kids is that we're self absorbed and believe that the world revolves around us - and one of the ways this is shown in our clip is in this scene:

Here we see Samir's character stop to put his hat on. At this particular moment, the thudding bass riff from the BGM cuts out all of a sudden; this shows that as Samir's character is doing something, everything around him should stop and all of the attention should shift to him. This is also shown in the shots themselves; he's in a school environment and so it's highly likely that other people would be in the area, yet Samir is the only person seen on screen during these parts.

Another stereotype regarding teenagers is that they want to be seen as individuals and therefore are seen to want to express their individuality; in our film we've touched on this concept by introducing all three characters individually, in separate locations within the school setting -

On top of these points, there is also the typical "teenage angst" view, which sees teenage kids generally hating everything about the world around them because we're too hard done by and no-one understands us - this can be seen in this shot especially -

The close up shot here really highlights Oliver's facial expression here - it's fair to say he looks more than a little bit wound up...

We can also see an example of Barthes' Mythologies concept in the way that the teenage kids are shown in a school setting. People generally associate youngsters with school, thus the film satisfies the audience's expectations.

Our characters are three young males, and given the setting of the school it was inevitable we were going to touch on the idea of boys rejecting the school's socialisation.

There's several ways in which we've shown this. One is in Oliver's dialogue, where he states that he's been kicked out of lesson. Whilst it's not specified as to why, it's assumed that it's down to "misbehaviour"/conflict with the teacher (from the way he seems to be running away from someone during the intro) - boys are generally expected to be punished more by teachers for their "laddish" behaviour, which actually support's Francis' findings that they act this way in the school to avoid being labelled as swots (who are seen as feminine).

We can see a further example of this rebellion against the school system in the costume - despite being in an environment where one would expect the characters to be in a formal uniform, Luke's character has worked around this by wearing a hooded jacket, as has Samir with his hat -

This male rebellion shown in our film extends beyond that against the school system and towards rebellion against society as a whole; males are usually thought to not care what others think about them in the way that females do, and this is shown in the way that the three characters don't see an issue with picking up a wine bottle they randomly find in the street and then drinking out of it. We've actually exaggerated this with the editing by applying an over-the-top WideTime filter, which highlights just how surreal this behaviour is.

Social Class
This is quite a complex thing to explore in our case, on the basis that it's had to pinpoint exactly how well-off our characters are. Whilst they are shown as sixth form students (with school sixth forms usually being dominated by the middle class), they show a few traits which are usually associated with the working class.

Firstly is the way in which their costume avoids the expected uniform policy as mentioned before; this kind of rebellion against the school is usually expected from working class students (who would be having conflict with the middle class-run school).

Secondly is the language they're using - they appear to be using a fairly restricted code of language (generally associated with the working class) in the dialogue, such as how Oliver just says "guys, look" as he points to the wine bottle, as opposed to explaining what he'd found in an elaborated code (typically associated with the middle class).

On the topic of the dialogue we also hear Oliver's character using mild swears in casual conversation ("what the hell!?" "bloody birds!") which is also typically thought of as a lower-class trait.


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