The Work Of Shaun Jacques


How useful is the notion of genre for explaining the full range of modern media texts?

Genre as a notion is extremely useful to a producer and an audience in all range of media for a number of reasons. It allows the audience to compare it to something they’ve seen before and therefore base an attachment to a ‘text’ before they’ve even seen it and it allows them to accept the world of the ‘text’ without much explanation… for example they don’t need to question the notion of space travel in a Sci-Fi but if that was placed in a typical romantic comedy, audiences would be confused. However there are such things as ‘Hybrid’ genres which can combine that sci-fi and a romantic comedies genre conventions and make them work, so long as it’s clear from the start of the text. Genre can also be useful to producers of film as it can be a great guide on who will watch their product and how they could market it. However when taken too literal, genre can be a limitation to the ideas which a text can bring out. In terms of web based content I’m divided in my opinion, I believe some pieces lack a clear ‘genre’ however i believe also that these pieces have a specfic target market and audience which expects ‘something’ from these pieces I don’t believe that genre is dying like some would claim, but i do believe the concepts of genre are in the middle of a big change.

Which types of cultural production appear to be the most generic and why? Which appear to be the least generic and why? How do these reflections tie into the work you are doing on your optional modules?

I believe that in the present day, the most generic cultural production appears to be the TV talent show, with X factor and Strictly Come Dancing being the worst offenders, however morning TV shows such as This Morning and Daybreak aswell as TV panel shows such as Would I lie to You and 8 out of 10 Cats can also be seen as generic productions. These shows work because the audience doesn’t want too much change in their shows, they like to know where they stand and also don’t wish to be challenged too much, particularly in the case of the panel show where they just wish to relax and laugh. does this make all generic shows bad shows? no but does it make any of them innovative and easily distinguishable from their competition? no, but in some cases’ that’s kind of the point, as it works on a subconsicious level to the audience and is easily marketable for a fresh twist (e.g: Britain’s got talent is…like X factor but… 8 Out of 10 cats is like mock the week but…etc, etc) This obviously reflects on my work in my 262MC module as we have to try and fall into these conventions whilst still being unique, so it’s important to understand the conceptions and expectations of a particular genre, in our case the quiz show. I believe that some newspapers and online media are a lot less generic than mainstream TV however i’d also argue that most still have their expectations that tie in an audience, etc certain websites may only have one constant theme during their ‘texts’ but there will still be a constant, otherwise why would people return?

Does the notion of genre aid our understanding of newer forms of cultural production such as online production? Does Adorno’s thesis still hold true given the ‘democratic’ nature of the internet?

I believe that the notion of genre does aid our understanding of online production today, I believe that online production is helping to break away from conventional genres but in their place they are forming new constants that can be seen in other inspired pieces, therefore, surely creating a genre of it’s own merit, I don’t believe that everything can be classed solely under a genre and limit it just to that, but I do believe that most online productions can easily be pinpointed to one genre or at the least a hybrid genre, without a constant on hosting sites for it’s content it’d be hard to understand why people would return, You could argue that youtube and the likes have no defining conent, but it too has a genre system and also a tagging system to help users and producers narrow and target their market, I argue that the shift of control is just moving to the internet from the TV rather than it changing dramatically. In terms of Adorno’s thesis, I don’t believe that it is as relevant as it once was, however certian aspects such as part on pusedo-individulism can be applied to a lot of works in the present day.


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