Level 3 Media Studies

90602 Explain the relationship between a media genre and society

Your GENRE is
You should refer closely to the page on this website' as this will give you a guide to possible questions in the examination paper.The key to this standard is that you should be discussing the relationship between a GENRE and society. Note it says GENRE not specific texts. The texts are examples you have studied in class, outside of class and those you have watched in your own 'world' experience are evidence to support your more general statements about the genre and the relationship this has with the society, in which they were created.The examination in past years has stated:
Candidates are advised to clearly define their genre at the start of their essay and to link their response to the genre. The focus is on the genre and the textual discussion should be supporting evidence for the candidate's points about the genre. Students will discuss ONE of four topics requiring a written response of about 600 words;
  • commonly shared features / conventions of the genre
  • audience expectation(s)/response(s)
  • change in the genre. Note: ONE change only will be required AND EXPLAIN IN DETAIL WHY IT CHANGES!
  • commercial consideration(s).

This means there is ONE question and you are expected to cover ONE of the four main bullet points above in your essay.
I think two conventions is reasonable, with a couple of examples from two of more sitcoms. Any more than that and you won't be able to get into any decent amount of detail.My understanding is that while you should focus your discussion around one of those bullet points (ie. convention), you can bring in on a minor level some of the other aspects into their essay.eg. when discussing the convention of narrator in documentaries, you might also refer to how this has changed over time, and perhaps why this has occured (audience demand, commercial reasons etc). That being said, I think it's important to stress that you always link back to the question/bullet point you are answering.The conventions need to be genre-specific - ie. typical in/to that genre - for example, in Horror genre 'close ups' or 'costumes' or 'tracking' wouldn't be good as obviously these are used in all genres - so more detail would be required, such as the use of 'crawling tracks' in Horror films that specifically create fear by closing the frame etc. Two examples will be required. You might focus on a specific convention, why it is used in your genre and how it might be used differently, and to different effect, according to the text/purpose.
Below are some example essays from past years:

Your mid-year examination paper and your external examination paper will be on the relationship of genre to society. Here is the mid-year paper:

LOOK HERE!!! Below is a set of documents to help you PLAN your essay for the External Examination

Here are VERY SPECIAL NOTES about the essays students wrote in 2009:

90602 Explain the relationship between a media genre and society


Candidates who were awarded Achievement for this standard demonstrated the required skills and knowledge. They commonly:

identified the genre and the question to answer

• identified three texts to use as examples

• indicated some characteristics of their selected genre

• gave some indication of how their genre inter-connected to society

• demonstrated knowledge of chosen texts.


Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved for this standard lacked some or all of the skills and knowledge required for the award of Achievement. They commonly:

did not identify three relevant texts, or did not describe three sufficiently; and did not identify the director or creator of the text/s

• did not study an appropriate genre (e.g. the texts they had studied did not constitute a genre)

• gave little or no indication of characteristics of the genre they had studied, or spent too much time on identifying conventions

• gave little or no indication of a connection between the genre and society

• discussed more than one genre (e.g. Documentary and Reality Television).


In addition to the skills and knowledge required for the award of Achievement, candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

demonstrated that they understood why the genre and society were linked

• used evidence that was specific and appropriate

• showed independent thought and reasoning

• showed good understanding of the genre

• used three examples without repeating the same information over and over again.


In addition to the skills and knowledge required for the award of Achievement with Merit, candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

made perceptive comments about the links between genre and society

• wrote fluently and structured essays appropriately, responding to a thesis statement and drawing valid conclusions

• gave an overview of the nature of the relationship between genre and society.


Many candidates showed good understanding of the facets that connected their chosen genre to the society in which they were created. However, some gave repetitive material, much of it based on US society; and for some, the ‘analysis’ involved a decade-by-decade overview that was superficial, and, at times, false – for example, “the 1980s was all about greed and materialism”. When supported with only one text that displayed this characteristic, answers were weak. Many candidates had a multi-textual approach in which none of the texts were referred to with sufficient depth or detail. Only three texts are necessary to meet the requirements of the examination. Some candidates covered the same material (or the same depth of analysis) over numerous texts, and some resorted to re-telling of texts with little or no insight into their connection to genre or its connection with society. Some candidates used a comparison approach between an older and more recent model of the same text, but this was rarely a successful approach to the examination. Some choices of genre were problematic, such as Violence, Cinema of Unease, Values and Animation. Genres must be able to be clearly characterised, and candidates achieved higher levels if their selection was appropriate.

Here is the link to the nzqa website with the examination paper on Genre from 2009: