The focus of this chapter is an exploration of the ways in which the media play an important role in reinforcing and perhaps challenging power relations in society. It does this through an extensive exploration of the theory and practice of representation both historically and in terms of contemporary social and cultural contexts. This leads to a consideration of both stereotypes and countertypes and to an exploration of the ideological implications of representation. The chapter then considers a variety of critical and theoretical approaches to the media for which issues of representation and identity are fundamental. There is a substantial exploration of the origins and character of feminist theory and more broadly gender studies. There is a discussion of the work of Judith Butler and its implications for queer theory. Finally there is a discussion of black identity and the arguments of postcolonialist theory.