1)Text analysis Introduction A media text is often said to be full of hidden messages, codes and ideological values which can be ‘read’ or perceived in different ways depending on the viewer’s/reader’s cultural and/or critical perspective (Kress, 1988, Barthes, 1915-1980 and Bryson, 1991). By studying a text from a range of perspectives we can make sense of these codes to gain a deeper, more rounded insight into the text’s meaning and purpose.
For this project, we have decided to analyse the Robinsons Wimbledon television advert, 2009. (http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=jBfLstxqjok) We will look at how meanings are constructed from three different perspectives; Whiteness and Central Identities, Diversification and ‘Britishness’. The advert depicts a variation of families and individuals watching a game of Wimbledon tennis on television. We never see the television screen but the commentary informs us that one of the players is British.
We see the public anxiously willing the British player to win whilst drinking Robinsons drinks. The tension mounts as the scores are read out. Finally the viewers are seen cheering at the win of a British champion and we are left with the line “It will happen again and we will be proud to be part of it. Robinsons; part of Wimbledon since 1935. ” We chose this text because it deals with themes of British patriotism, identity and culture, making it fitting to analyse from the perspectives mentioned above.
As an overtly British advert, whiteness and central identities (Daniels, 1997) can be explored in this text due to the fact that although the dominant central identity of this society is white, masculine, European, the advert does not suggest this at all. It includes many other minority identities, therefore, one can explore the presentation and formation of these different identities and why whiteness doesn’t dominate in this advert as expected. This text also addresses issues multiculturalism in Britain, therefore, diversification (Adorno, 1945) will be interesting to discuss in terms of the development of British culture.
Finally, with this advert being for a British brand, with so many references to Britain and tennis (a popular British sport), this text can also be used to understand the ideology of ‘Britishness’ and how the producers use British identity and values to promote their brand. This is what I will be exploring in this essay. 2) Critical Summary of an article Commodity Diversity: Smiling Faces as a Strategy of Containment ‘Analysing Difference Through Visual Imagery’ By Elaine Swan (2010)
In this ‘relatively under-researched’ article, Swan examines the racial ‘mosaic’ and its visual representations of racial diversity. She analyses this from a critical diversity studies point of view, citing Noon’s (2007) work ‘The Fatal Flaws of Diversity and the Business Case for Ethnic Minorities’ to affirm that ‘difference lies at the heart of diversity’. She uses theories such as the ‘critical race theory’ and the ‘visual cultural theory’ in relation to diversity management to place it at the heart of present ‘racialization’ processes.
She quotes the work of Omi and Winant (1994), ‘Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s’ as a base for the idea that race is ‘decentred’ and changeable through symbolic practices like ‘commodity diversity’, and thus mosaic representations. Swan argues the idea that ‘difference is not something to fear, but to celebrate’, bringing arguments from Benschop’s (2001) ‘Pride, Prejudice and Performance: Relations Between HRM, Diversity and Performance’ to suggest that difference brings an important advantage to businesses.
She then goes on to analyse the fact that even though this view has been criticized, there are few representations of visual images of ‘difference and sameness’ in commodity diversity. Using the work of Sturken and Cartwright (2001), she emphasises the importance of visual images in creating meanings and reconstructing identities and power relations; furthermore, she attempts to analyse the available visual media in Diversity Management.
In her analysis, Swan identifies the power of visual culture in classification and hierarchies of power, gender and race, most of them being through body representations. She uses Benschop and Meihuizen’s (2002) ‘Keeping Up Gendered Appearances. The Representation of Gender in Financial Annual Reports’ to identify trends of race and diversification analysis in company accounts. Through this work, she identifies that women were seen as ‘lesser’ then men and thus the relationship of power in these companies.