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Representations of Ethnicity Black British. Learning Objective To formulate an idea of what the representation of black British is, how it is constructed.

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Presentation on theme: "Representations of Ethnicity Black British. Learning Objective To formulate an idea of what the representation of black British is, how it is constructed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Representations of Ethnicity Black British

2 Learning Objective To formulate an idea of what the representation of black British is, how it is constructed and why.

3 RECAP: Representation of black British

4 Series 1 Episode 1 of Top Boy Deconstruct the codes used to create the representations - Audio - Visual - Technical - Narrative - Genre How is the representation constructed? Link this to theory. Consider audience. Why is this representation constructed? RECAP: DOMINANT REPRESENTATION

5 Top Boy Analysis Establishing crane shot: Showing where these characters are growing up (Hackney, London). The council estate informs the audience there are many people crammed into one space, connoting poverty and the struggle for life the characters face. The location helps to inform the genre - gritty urban realism. This analysis also reinforces Alvarados Theory of the the pitied (1987). The characters are victims of their environment. The vertical framing of the flats connotes feeling trapped - just as the characters in the episode feel - trapped in the flats, in the estate and in the life of crime and drugs they lead. An oppositional reading (Stuart Hall) might argue that this is tough and the characters should get a job.

6 Medium over the shoulder shot: boy wearing school uniform, Again the vertical framing between two frames of the windows. Reinforcing that he is trapped and has no way out, even though he is in school - usually education is seen as the route out of poverty. TOP BOY ANALYSIS Long shot of the boy in school uniform, from the boys Point of view (POV), looking down at his potential role models, connoting he is destined for the same, despite education. The camera positions the audience as looking out with him, from his perspective. This establishes the scene for the audience but also sets the scene for the character - his life and where it is going. His head partly obscures the shot, this gives a sense of enigma (Roland Barthes: 1974). In addition this creates suspense and ambiguity, the audience dont know what will happen next. Alongside plays the audio track of the beating sound, adding to the tension.

7 Medium close up: The visual codes in this shot connote to the audience that this character is a direct threat to my person and my safety. The text has been constructed so that the audiences sympathies are with Chantelle and the male character such that, when the gun is pulled in them, the audience feels fear too. The absence of any representations of intelligence, compassion or empathy further reinforce Alvarados Theory of the dangerous. This constructs the representation of black British as uneducated gun wielding drug dealers who are out for themselves. This reinforces Dyers (1992) utopia of intensity, audiences are unlikely to have guns pointed in their faces and this text gives them the intensity missing from their everyday lives. The iconography of the gun connoting danger/death/violence/power is further reinforced by the character looking down the barrel of it, this not only reinforces the guns iconographic signifiers but also Alvarados Theory of the dangerous (1987) and Earp and Katzs (1999) theory of violent males.

8 Remember this? Why Black British Drama is going online ack-british-tv-drama-online ack-british-tv-drama-online LINK WHY BLACK BRITISH DRAMA IS GOING ONLINE

9 Alternative Representation 1 Watch the trailer for All About the McKenzies Deconstruct this. Apply theory. Consider audience. Fill in your revision booklet. PS Samuell Benta was in Miss Littledykes tutor group when she worked in London. That makes her cool. HOW AND WHY?

10 Watch the next section of Series 1 Episode 1 of Top Boy (4oD, available on Youtube). q=top+boy+ser&gs_l=youtube.1.1.0l6.2199.3712.0.5413. j1.10.0...0.0...1ac.1.58WizzcLqCo q=top+boy+ser&gs_l=youtube.1.1.0l6.2199.3712.0.5413. j1.10.0...0.0...1ac.1.58WizzcLqCo Deconstruct the codes used to create the representations (audio, visual, technical, narrative, genre). How is the representation constructed? Link this to theory. (Alvarado) Consider audience. Why is this representation constructed? Fill in your analysis sheets. TOP BOY PART 2

11 Have a look at this online magazine. Deconstruct it. How are black British people represented? Apply theory. Think about audience. Add to your revision booklet. HOW AND WHY? ALTERNATIVE REPRESENTATION 2

12 Fill in your revision booklets about: 1. Dominant representation in Top Boy and the pitied representation 2. Alternative representation of All About the McKenzies 3. Alternative representation of The Voice HOMEWORK REMEMBER: HOW AND WHY?


14 Medium two shot of the youths sitting on the car. This is the equilibrium with regard to narrative. The characters have been constructed as troublemakers. This representation has been created via the visual codes of costume - the puffa jackets, hat and leather that connote gangster. Arguably the use of the yellow hoodie for Chantelle could connote that she is nice on the inside and just putting on a tough exterior. Adding to the mis- en-scene. TOP BOY ANALYSIS In the background is a dark tunnel. The lack of light signifies to the audience danger and that disequilbrisum is to come. The dominant reading would argue their facial expressions are tough and they are hanging out here out of choice. An oppositional reading would argue the characters facial expressions construct them as unhappy to be in the situation they are in, but hanging out anyway because they have no where else to go - no youth club or similar to hang out at.

15 TOP BOY ANALYSIS Use of the close up shot lets the audience see the detail in the gore and violence of the butchers. Like lambs to to the slaughter Just as the youth of the streets will be - lambs to the slaughter of the guns and violence happening in the estate. The characters are going to be butchered just like the lambs and fish have been.

16 Disequillbrium - Chantelle and the male character get robbed. Medium over the shoulder shot, camera positioned behind the two characters letting the audience see the action, and therefore feel as if they are part of it. The squealing car tyres are a staple code connoting violence and reinforcing Todorovs theory of disequilbrium Audio codes include the use of slang language Say summitin bruv, TOP BOY ANALYSIS

17 The fact the bad gang take the drugs and slap the Chantelle in the face, together with her stating to her crew that They f***ing slapped me in my face cuz, which gets brushed off by the other characters reinforces John Bergers theory that Men act, women appear. Restoration of the equilibrium: New equilibrium, characters have to deal with being robbed, and the consequences of this.

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