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    Media Persuasive Essay (772 words)

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    Discuss the representation of the north and south of England, in the channel 4 episode of “wife swap” featuring the Sprys and Bardsleys. ‘Wife swap’ is a recent programme broadcast on Channel 4 where two wives with different families move into one another’s home for a few weeks. It attracts 5, 000, 000 views. I am going to look, in particular, at the episode starring the Spry family and the Bardsley family. Interestingly, these families are portrayed as very different. The Spry’s are from the South of England and the Bardsley’s are from the North. In this essay, I am going to discuss the representations of the North and South by looking at the typical stereotype s people instantly associate North and South with, question why perhaps people assume these views and how they obtain them.

    Representation is the way people, places, issues and situations are portrayed in the media. A stereotype is a repeated representation. In the episode I am looking at of ‘Wife swap’ the North and South of England is constantly being represented. Everyone has a stereotype formed of what they believe the North and South are like. When I think of the North I think of poor education, men with beer bellies- very manly and sort of rough looking, domestics – wife looking after lots of children, pubs, socialising, lots of gossiping, children playing on the streets, no high fashion, bad weather, small terraced houses, a real sense of community and overall a parochial society. But this is not necessarily true. I believe the media gives this idea of the north to me by the things that I have watched on television. Good examples of this could be the film ‘Billy Elliott’ and the soap ‘Emmerdale’. I think these are very stereotypical of the North and have painted a picture in my mind of how the I perceive the north to be.

    ‘Wife swap’ I feel does challenge this stereotype slightly in that Lizzie Bardsley, it could be argued, is depicted as a bad mother. She doesn’t do the housework, she cooks bad food for her children, she smokes, swears and basically challenges the idealist view of how a mother should be. However, the gossipy, up-front side of Lizzie (“I’m a gobby cow!”) I believe is quite stereotypical. Also, I feel that Mark Bardsley doesn’t fit the stereotype of the typical Northern man either as we find out, much to his disappointment, that he in-fact does all the household chores and cooks for the family. We are likely to assume that the Northern family is more traditional and that it is the woman who looks after the house and children.

    On the other hand, when I think of the typical South of England stereotypes they are quite different. I believe most people instantly think of middle class, semi-detached houses, good education, office jobs, suits, independent women, high fashion, an elegant/glamorous way of life, bars, effeminate men, snobby attitudes and a society where everyone keeps to themselves. I think that this stereotype of the South is depicted through ‘wife swap’ constantly. Collin Spry is thrilled to cook for his family and do the housework while his ‘princess’ Emma rests.

    We are given this idea of the father taking on a traditionally female role in the family, which I feel is not challenging societies ideologies as it is almost depicted as okay in the South, however, in the North I would say that Mark Bardsley taking on a traditionally female is arguably frowned upon as it challenges the typical stereotype of the Northern man. There is a shot we are shown quite a few times of Emma reading magazines on the sofa while Collin is preparing dinner and I think this is a great example of representation construction as it is the mise-en-scene that gives this strong reinforcement of the typical stereotype of the Southern household- shared status and more effeminate men.

    The representation construction is created by the clever use of music, language, dress, camera angles and the mise-en-scene. The Bardsley’s wear very casual clothes such as tracksuits, however the Spry’s wear smart trousers and formal tops, which is a great contrast. I think this is to strengthen the audience’s stereotypes and represent the North and South accordingly to them. I think the representations are aimed at channel 4’s target audience, which I believe is the ‘minority audience’ consisting of youths (aged between 15-25), disabled people, ethnic minorities and also perhaps homosexuals. Channel 4 attracts audiences that are most valuable to advertisers; the young, upmarket “light” viewers and those consumers who are most likely to be the earliest adopters of new technologies and services.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Media Persuasive Essay (772 words). (2017, Nov 08). Retrieved from

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