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Media Theory Revision Guide

All A level theorists covered alongside revision summaries and exam practise exercises.




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Womans Realm

Hermeneutics in Woman's Realm


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Barthes’ arguments regarding semiotic codes are widely applicable to the content of Woman’s realm and help to explain how this set text produces ideological meaning for its target audience.

On the cover, for example, sell-lines are hermeneutically encoded to encourage impulse buys - an important revenue stream for mainstream magazines. The sell ‘Exciting New Romance’, for example, hints at potential content without revealing exacting detail in order  to provoke reader interest.

Sell-lines also invoke positive connotations via tailored semantic choices, targeting Woman’s Realm’s female target audience by utilising empty adjectives (‘exciting’ and ‘wonderful’) to convey an emotive yet conservative outlook regarding editorial content. 

These empty descriptors would have been hugely familiar to female readers of the period and were conventional lexus in women’s magazines of the 1960s.

Limited language codes

Text that contains straightforward vocabulary, mostly using words of two syllables or less. Limited language texts tend to use high frequency lexis/everyday vocabulary.

Media terminology used

Hermeneutic codes

Also known as enigma codes, these elements create mystery. Enigma codes are conventionally used at the start of narratives to hook audience interest.

Impulse buy

A term applied to magazine and newspaper purchases where audiences buy products without planning to do so. Front page features often drive impulse buys.

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