• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Following Foucault's conception of subject and power, how do you account For changes in the representations of sexuality in the media?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Alastair Stone 012930 Politics Of Representation Following Foucault's conception of subject and power, how do you account For changes in the representations of sexuality in the media? It is without doubt that the media in our society has an elevated position of power, with moguls such as Rupert Murdoch reputably having control over a distribution of information through processes of media signification. In communication terms these people in the media would be labelled the gatekeepers and their perceived power would rise from their ability to form opinion and withhold or release information. This is a relatively simple concept to come to terms with. However, media representations are formed over time often through myth and a production of truths which operate everywhere in our language. Truth can manifest itself in a number of ways and each society has its own truth regime meaning that the conditions are set for only certain discourses to function on a level of truth. In Foucault's research he looks at power in relation to the subject, and how the human subject is placed in power relations similar to those of production and signification. Representations of sexuality are a particularly interesting site of struggle and it has only been through recent (in particular) ...read more.

Middle

argued that the media are responsible for what is deemed acceptable in the first place, a Marxist idea explored by Theodor Adorno among others), the bars are set at a certain level and until there is a unified resistant force they will remain. Foucault's analysis of power relations takes for a starting point the forms of resistance against different forms of power. He saw using the resistance to bring to light power relations and locate their position in an economy of power relations. The opposition of power of men over women epistemologically can be used to find out some historical evidence for the power men have had over women and how this has changed. The "main objective of these struggles is to attack not so much an institution of power, or group, or elite or class, but rather a technique, a form of power" (Foucault, 1982: 212). This sets his analysis apart from both the traditional Marxist and Hegemonic views of power which work on a basis of patriarchal ideologies and apparatus'. In fact according to Foucault power actually reinforces the idea of individualism and identity in the respect that it imposes truths which must be recognised in order for others to recognise the individual, and attaching the identity. ...read more.

Conclusion

In academic discussion of sex-gender, Foucauldian power certainly seems to have displaced the Lacanian "phallus" as the transcendental signifier. The wider understanding of subject and power offered by Foucault satisfies the vivid explanation given by both Marxists and Feminists. Power, however, tends to recount similar characteristics of those which were attributed to the phallus as origin of all, "immanent in all things, located simultaneously everywhere and nowhere, over determining all articulation and experience and yet in itself inarticulable." (Graham P, 1997). Characteristic of Foucault's work is that truth can often change as a result of the very discourse which it used as a premise, thus making it problematic to offer any solutions. His view of power and the mass media would lead us to believe that resistance is in fact a necessary condition for the outcome of power; however he offers us no revolutionary option. His work gives us insight into the conditions of subject and power struggles through the media and his views act as an important theoretical barrier to any belief that the Mass Media present us with a picture of our own reality. Domination by traditional axioms of sexuality is still at large, yet Foucault encourages us to look deeper and question the changes in representation that have moulded our society and defined our history. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Media section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Media essays

  1. How might a sociologist account for the high incidence of eating disorders among women?

    and their main role in many adverts during the 1960s was the loving, working father. Control can play a large role in the development of eating disorders. Many women feel they do not have enough power over their lives and choose to take controls in other ways, such as controlling when and how much they eat.

  2. To what extent do media representations of refugees and asylum seekers limit their integration ...

    Whereas in the first stage the role of the media was overplayed, in the second stage the role of the media was underplayed. The third stage, beginning in the early 1960s, saw the reluctance of media analysts to dismiss the possibility that the media might have important social effects, and

  1. Does Media Violence Lead to Aggression and Societal Violence?

    This may not be the case in real life. The settings portrayed in media are usually dramatized; media provides a psudo environment which is different from our daily life.Youths may be influenced by media violence however they are situated in different settings and therefore unlikely to perform the exact same violent acts portrayed in media.

  2. Censorship is necessary to protect the public

    independent watchdogs, and would result in a society with much less aggressive laws and guidelines. However, this would be almost impossible to implement because boundaries would inevitably be pushed. Self-regulation of the press has been very successful regarding coverage of Prince William, as described previously, but on other occasions it has not.

  1. How is Crime represented in the Media

    98% of British homes have a television. 8. All of my Respondents opinions of Crime are formed from the media. This is the strongest anchor mechanism in forming people's opinion on crime as the media is all around us. The only other way of forming peoples opinion crime is witnessing it.

  2. How does the media represent female bodies?

    For example Tuchman (1978) reviewed evidence on the representation of women by the American media during the period 1950s to the 1970s. She claimed that women were portrayed mainly in terms of their sexual attractiveness and in their performance of domestic roles.

  1. Why do the mass media in a capitalist society allow no genuine diversity and ...

    Before exploring to the rationale behind the relationship between dominant ideological gender role and mass media. It is necessary for us to have a glance of what exactly the dominant ideological gender role and relations are conveyed in mass media in general.

  2. Assess the ways gender and sexuality are represented in the mass media

    Some argue that increased representation of homosexuals is aimed at the ?pink economy?, i.e. Homosexuals with large disposable incomes, to increase consumerism among gay people. Alternatively, GILL argues, homosexuals are presented on TV to attract straight audiences because such concepts as ?hot lesbian? draw upon codes of pornography.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work