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Discuss the representation of the north and south of England, in the channel 4 episode of "wife swap" featuring the Sprys and Bardsleys. 'Wife swap' is a recent programme broadcast on Channel 4 where two wives with different families move

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Lesley Lock Mrs Gould Media Essay Discuss the representation of the north and south of England, in the channel 4 episode of "wife swap" featuring the Sprys and Bardsleys. 'Wife swap' is a recent programme broadcast on Channel 4 where two wives with different families move into one another's home for a few weeks. It attracts 5, 000, 000 views. I am going to look, in particular, at the episode starring the Spry family and the Bardsley family. Interestingly, these families are portrayed as very different. The Spry's are from the South of England and the Bardsley's are from the North. In this essay, I am going to discuss the representations of the North and South by looking at the typical stereotype s people instantly associate North and South with, question why perhaps people assume these views and how they obtain them. Representation is the way people, places, issues and situations are portrayed in the media. A stereotype is a repeated representation. In the episode I am looking at of 'Wife swap' the North and South of England is constantly being represented. Everyone has a stereotype formed of what they believe the North and South are like. ...read more.


We are given this idea of the father taking on a traditionally female role in the family, which I feel is not challenging societies ideologies as it is almost depicted as okay in the South, however, in the North I would say that Mark Bardsley taking on a traditionally female is arguably frowned upon as it challenges the typical stereotype of the Northern man. There is a shot we are shown quite a few times of Emma reading magazines on the sofa while Collin is preparing dinner and I think this is a great example of representation construction as it is the mise-en-scene that gives this strong reinforcement of the typical stereotype of the Southern household- shared status and more effeminate men. The representation construction is created by the clever use of music, language, dress, camera angles and the mise-en-scene. The Bardsley's wear very casual clothes such as tracksuits, however the Spry's wear smart trousers and formal tops, which is a great contrast. I think this is to strengthen the audience's stereotypes and represent the North and South accordingly to them. I think the representations are aimed at channel 4's target audience, which I believe is the 'minority audience' consisting of youths (aged between 15-25), disabled people, ethnic minorities and also perhaps homosexuals. ...read more.


This is an example of key iconography within the text. I feel there are quite a few significant ideologies depicted through the episode, such as caring for your children and to work hard -whether that is working in employment circumstances or working to help your family. I think there is quite a fair representation shown of the North and South of England overall, although they are both very different in many respects. I believe the representations have kept mainly to the typical stereotypes and I feel this may be because it is what an audience like and expect, they don't really like to have their stereotypes challenged. However, 'wife swap' uses Lizzie Barnsley to represents the North in, arguably, a bad light as she swears, smokes and doesn't come across as a very good mother. I believe this view of the North is not likely to be very stereotypical as she doesn't stick to the feminine, traditional lady that people would expect her to be like. Whereas, the south is represented through Emma as being very independent, quite feminine, and more modern, perhaps fitting with that stereotype of the South better. Therefore I conclude with the opinion that in this particular episode of 'wife swap', the North and South are represented very stereotypically, overall. ...read more.

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