Media theory

Essay Questions – choose one only:

  1. Political Economy: Giving a clear example of a media text (such as a video game or social media site),
    explain the relationship between paid and unpaid labour in participatory media. What elements of political
    economy theories (see Jhally, Herman & Chomsky or others) could be used to support your claims?
  2. Semiotics: Bignell (1997: 22) wrote (borrowing from Barthes) that we need to show how myths are “built by
    means of codes into a structure which communicates particular messages and not others”. Conduct a detailed
    textual analysis of one advertisement (print, online or TV) to show what ‘codes’ are being used, what messages
    are being communicated, and what are not.
  3. Audience and Medium Theory: Using a Cultural Studies approach, explain how perceptions of the audience
    have shifted with the rise of new forms of media. Is there a different kind of engagement, and if so, how can the
    audience still be commodified? Explain, contrasting two forms of media text (e.g. Streaming TV versus Network
  4. Discourse: Why does Foucault see discourse as a system of representation and practice that invokes power?
    Conduct a discourse analysis on this video about Australia Day. What discursive practices are being used to
    create meaning?
  5. Genre & Narrative Theories: According to Feuer (1992), genre is said to work as a convention for both the
    production and consumption of media. How has the arrival of what Mittell (2015) calls ‘complex TV’ disrupted
    the idea of genre? Use a recent (post-2010) television series to illustrate your argument.
  6. Games and Narrative: What does the concept of the ‘flow state’ (Csikszentmihalyi 1975) in games tell us? In
    what ways can interactivity affect our video gameplay and flow state? Use examples to illustrate your points.

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