Genre

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?

Advantages

 

  • 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. 

Disadvantages

 

  • 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?

Sub-Genres

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.