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A term used to categorise media texts according to a set of common characteristics or conventions.


Codes and conventions – the characteristics of a media text which make it recognisable as belonging to a certain genre.


Example:  Westerns will often feature shoot outs, cowboys, horses and dusty desert settings.

Why is Genre Used?



  • Easily recognisable conventions.

  • Familiar to audiences.

  • Audiences have expectations so Media Producers know how to target them.

  • Genre is constantly changing & adapting to audience needs.

  • Reflects social attitudes, and shows the social context.

  • Genres change according to social context. 



  • Genre is too repetitive and therefore predictable.

  • Genre texts are often formulaic and follow a framework.

  • Media producers are often criticised for staying within the boundaries of a genre.

  • Many media producers said to ‘lack imagination and creativity’.

  • What film genre is reflected in this movie poster?


  • How have you come to that conclusion? 


  • What conventions are present?


You must also be aware of hybrids and sub-genres.


A sub-genre is a smaller subdivision of a particular genre eg. ‘Bromance’ films.


A genre hybrid is a combination of two or more genres used in one media text.


Think of an example of a media text which is either a hybrid or belonging to a sub-genre.

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