Strong introductions discuss the problems with trying to connect a media product with notions of male identity. Bring in the argument that the texts could be used to study male identity but they would have to be considered against the historical representation of males in film and magzines and what was happening in other forms of media at the time. Also bring in the argument that both texts were accused of influencing male identity but you must argue that the power of the media on its own over the formation of identity, is more likely to be very limited.
General statements with no evidence or professional opinion to back the statement up i.e. “Lock Stock tells us a massive amount about male identity in the 1990s” Does it really? What exactly? Did men in London generally behave like this at the time? Did Ritchie say he’d had enough of feminism in any of his interviews?
➢ No reference to the question at all
➢ No sense of argument for or against the idea that the film could tell us anything about male identity at the time
➢ No sense of argument for or against the idea that the film could influence male identity at the time
The best answers keep answering the question with every point they made. Simple. Think about how the point you are making related to the essay question before you start to write the paragraph.
➢ Not working out what the question is asking you to do
➢ Not working out the possible answer to the question
➢ Not planning how you would structure that answer
NOT USING END NOTES TO REFERENCE
Nearly always too generalised, not summarising your arguments and no reference to theory. This problem stems from not understanding the question and your argument before you start, When you get to the end you don’t know what you have argued, and neither will the examiner.
Using professional opinion:
The best essays introduce the opinion of the professional at the start of the paragraph, then they explain it in relation to MALE IDENTITY. They then either back this opinion up or challenge it. Again, they finish the paragraph with reference back to the question.
➢ using professional opinion as your own without referencing it
➢ getting the name of the professional wrong or the job of the professional wrong or just not bothering to name them or give them a title at all
➢ not giving the year the comment was published
➢ not stating where the comment was published in the paragraph or in the notes at the end
➢ not using any professional opinion at all because (obviously) your opinion is the only one that counts.
The best essays use the theories to explain how much power the media actually have on the formation of identity.
Laura Mulvey can be used early on in the essay to explain the significance of gender roles in the film. The film represented a male dominated world where women didn’t feature as important characters. In fact, they barely featured at all. The better essays explain how Mulvey argued that cinema was set up for a male audience and that women predominantly featured as passive characters while the men had the important, active roles. They were able to link Mulvey’s ‘Male Gaze’ theory with the male dominated Lock Stock and how it seems to support her theory. They link Mulvey’s theory with the idea that the film was a ‘blacklash against feminism’.
Steve Chibnall’s theory of Gangster Heavy and Gangster Light was used to explain how the film is different in style from traditional gangster films. This was linked with criticisms of Ritchie and the film in the press in which Ritchie was accused of polluting the British film industry.
They used the Media Power debate (Adorno and Fiske) to explain the film in terms of the CULTURE INDUSTRY churning out more of the same to make a profit. How the film was part of the Gangster Cycle (1997-2001) and released in a decade when ‘laddish’ behaviour was evident in many media forms (bring in Loaded and FHM here). Adorno would see the messages about masculinity as a harmful and would argue that male identity was being influenced without them even knowing it. They made the point that Fiske would say the film was a product of its time, reflecting the tastes of the audience at the time. The audience would enjoy it because they could identity with the characters from old gangster films and stories in the press at the time. He would also argue that this is what was influencing Ritchie, along with the films being produced in America, which also seemed to centre on the theme of masculinity. He would argue that the film was not something that the industry was not sending powerful ideological messages, but that the producers were being influenced by what was happening in the world around them.
They also used the NATURE Vs NURTURE debate to explain that while some believe males and females are born with certain gender traits, others believe behaviour is learned from the people and the world around us. They recognised that the media industry is therefore often held responsible for influencing behaviour, especially in vulnerable people who are still forming their identities like children and young men and women. They tied this in with Lock Stock and the claim that the film is responsible for communicating messages about masculinity and for a rise in violent crime.
They used David Gauntlett’s comments on the PROBLEMS with MEDIA EFFECTS theories and tied this in with the point that no matter what the critics write, there is not strong enough evidence to suggest that any media product can affect male behaviour or identity.
➢ The biggest one was using the theories incorrectly, so it looks as though researching and checking the facts of the theory did not take place. BiG mistake.
➢ Not referencing the theory correctly with details of where it was published and when
➢ Using Nature Vs Nature to talk about characters in the film rather than the effect of the film on male identity
➢ Not using the theories to answer the question, just randomly including them
- ► 2013 (23)
- ► 2012 (25)
- Q1a revision template
- Revision for Question 1b
- Media and Collective Identity
- Sample question for section B:
- Sample Question for section B
- Steve Chibnall (2009)
- Film Theory for Lock Stock
- Media Power: Adorno & Fiske
- Media Effects and Gender Development
- Judith Butler on Gender Identity
- Mulvey & Gender Roles in Film
- Case Study 2: Loaded magazine
- Tips for Masculinity exam essay:
- ▼ January (13)