How does your media product represent particular social groups?
1 – My media production represents age in one key factor – by having everyone involved in the production of my sequence be between the age of 16 and 19. However, visually, all Glitch shows are seventeen-year olds, and not in the most stable manner at that. For example, my main character is Toby, who is depicted as a slightly schizophrenic teenager who refuses to take his anti-psychosis medication, with his briefly-shown friend shown merely as someone who turns into a monster. Evidently, this is not the most positive of portrayals, and may show teenagers in a negative light – especially as I haven’t got a particular ‘hero’ in my story to save the representation of them.
2 – In the case of race, my sequence also only represents one particular group, and that is of the Caucasian variety. Visually, everyone is Caucasian, and again may not be represented in the most positive of light due to the psychosis and insanity involved. Nevertheless, when considering ethnicity, neither of my voice actors are British, as one was from Colombia and one was from Thailand, and thus had the accompanying accents. However, that just means that I’m not really showing anyone in a particularly positive light.
3 – Again, visually I only show males, despite me myself being a female. My main actor is shown to be reckless and slightly insane, with his friend following suit, and so I don’t believe it is the most positive of representations, or the most accurate for that matter. However, if you were to consider the stereotypes typically assigned to males (aggressive, dominant) in contrast to women (weak, submissive), my portrayal does fit what the media so often represents.
4 – I haven’t really portrayed factors such as education or income throughout my sequence, but I have established that my audience is mainly lower/ middle class due to the fact that I wouldn’t expect a millionaire to watch a small-town production over a big blockbuster. Despite this, however, I may have depicted Toby to be living in more of a middle/ upper class life, as he is first featured in a relatively nice living room, throwing away a prescription drug that may be considered to be expensive. Related to this, you would expect him and his family to have had a decent education to be able to afford such things. To contrast again, however, mental illnesses are often stereotyped to be more of a lower class problem, as you wouldn’t imagine someone owning a speedboat, for example, to be spending their time wandering around at night running from something that doesn’t exactly exist.
5 – Physical disability is a topic that I haven’t covered in my sequence, but mental disability is, as my main character Toby is ultimately suffering from a very destructive form of schizophrenia. Again, I haven’t shown it in the most positive of light, but then this isn’t a very positive film. Saying that, however, he is vaguely shown to be cared about, as his friend calls to him on the street and his mother calls to him to take his medication, despite them never actually having a larger on-screen role. Because of this, disability is shown to be something that can’t really be ignored as it could ultimately take over your whole life, despite the help that people may be trying to give you.
6 – I haven’t particularly covered religion in my sequence either, but perhaps due to the fact that I haven’t specified if Toby follows any religion, it could suggest that regardless of whether you’re a Mormon, Muslim, Christian or any other denomination, mental illness can affect anyone.
To conclude, my sequence really represents only a small proportion of all social groups, and as has been established, not all in a particularly positive light.