Audience Theory
Maddie Chapman
The Effects Model
o The consumption of media texts has an effect or
influence upon the audience
o This effect is considere...
Also known as…

The Hypodermic Model
o This theory suggests that messages are injected
into the audience by the powerful s...
Evidence of the Effects Model
• The Frankfurt School theorised in the 1920’s that
the mass media acted to restrict and con...
The Bobo Doll Experiment
o The experiment was conducted in 1961 by Albert
Bandura
o During the experiment, children watche...
The Effects Model
o There are key examples that support the theory
‘The Bobo Doll experiment’
o The film ‘The Clockwork Or...
The Effects Model contributes to
Moral Panic…
o The media produces violent ‘copycat’ behaviour
o The media produces mindle...
Audience Positioning
o Stuart Hall (1973) suggested texts were encoded by the
producers of texts to contain certain meanin...
1) Preferred or dominant readings
o This is where the audience interprets the text
closely to the way in which the produce...
2) Negotiated readings
o This is where the audience goes through some sort
of negotiation with themselves to allow them to...
3) Oppositional or resistant readings
o This is where the user of the text finds themselves
in conflict with the text itse...
The Uses and Gratifications Model
o It is opposite to the Effects Model
o The audience is active
o The audience uses the t...
The Uses and Gratifications Model
Audiences
therefore use
media texts to
gratify needs
for…

Escapism

Diversion

Informat...
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
(1943)
The Uses and Gratifications Model
o The audience is in control and consumption of the
media it helps people with issues su...
The Uses and Gratifications Model
o Controversially, the theory suggests the
consumption of violent images can be helpful ...
Reception Theory
o Given that the Effects Model and the Uses and
Gratifications Model have their problems and
limitations ...
Reception Theory
o Stuart Hall developed three types of audience
readings (decoding) of a media text..
o Dominant or prefe...
1) Dominant or preferred
o Where the audience decodes the message as the
producer wants them to do and broadly agrees with...
2) Negotiated
o Where the audience accepts, rejects or refines
elements of the text in light of previously held views
o Fo...
3) Oppositional
o Where the dominant meaning is recognised but
rejected for cultural, political or ideological reasons
o F...
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Audience Theory

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Audience Theory

  1. 1. Audience Theory Maddie Chapman
  2. 2. The Effects Model o The consumption of media texts has an effect or influence upon the audience o This effect is considered negative o Audiences are passive and powerless to prevent the influence o The power lies with the message of the text
  3. 3. Also known as… The Hypodermic Model o This theory suggests that messages are injected into the audience by the powerful syringe-like media. o Again, the audience are powerless o The theory suggests that the media works like a drug, and the audience of particular media texts are drugged and addicted.
  4. 4. Evidence of the Effects Model • The Frankfurt School theorised in the 1920’s that the mass media acted to restrict and control audiences to benefit of corporate capitalism and governments • The Bobo Doll experiment This is controversial research that apparently proves that children copy violent behaviour
  5. 5. The Bobo Doll Experiment o The experiment was conducted in 1961 by Albert Bandura o During the experiment, children watched a video where an adult violently attacked a clown called a Bobo Doll. They were then taken to a room with attractive toys that they were not permitted to touch. The children were then led to another room with Bobo Dolls. o Statistics show that 88% of the children imitated the violent behaviour they had viewed. 8 months later 40% of the children reproduced the same violent behaviour
  6. 6. The Effects Model o There are key examples that support the theory ‘The Bobo Doll experiment’ o The film ‘The Clockwork Orange’ 1971 in a number of sex attacks and other violent attacks o The film ‘Child’s Play 3’ in the murder of James Bulger in 1993 o The film ‘Severance’ in 2006 in the murder of Simon Everitt
  7. 7. The Effects Model contributes to Moral Panic… o The media produces violent ‘copycat’ behaviour o The media produces mindless shopping in response to TV advertisements o The media produces inactivity and laziness resulting in students failing exams and unemployment
  8. 8. Audience Positioning o Stuart Hall (1973) suggested texts were encoded by the producers of texts to contain certain meanings related to social and cultural background of the creator of the text. However, once the viewer of the text ‘decoded’ that text then the meanings intended by the producer may change o He went on to suggest three main perspectives involved in the way in which an audience responds to a particular text. This involves how the audience is positioned by the text and its subsequent response
  9. 9. 1) Preferred or dominant readings o This is where the audience interprets the text closely to the way in which the producer of the text intended. If the social and cultural experience of the reader of the text is close to that of the producer then there is little for the audience to challenge.
  10. 10. 2) Negotiated readings o This is where the audience goes through some sort of negotiation with themselves to allow them to accept the way in which the text is presented. You may agree with some elements of the text and disagree with others. You may need to adjust your viewpoint in order to get the most out of your viewing
  11. 11. 3) Oppositional or resistant readings o This is where the user of the text finds themselves in conflict with the text itself due to their beliefs or experiences. For example, a narrative in a soap opera that views a woman who is having an affair sympathetically will encourage a resistant reading in a person whose culture is against adultery
  12. 12. The Uses and Gratifications Model o It is opposite to the Effects Model o The audience is active o The audience uses the text and is not used by it o The audience uses the text for its own gratification or pleasure o The power lies with the audience not the producers o The theory emphasises what audiences do with media texts, how and why they use them o The audience is free to reject, use, or play with media meanings as they see fit
  13. 13. The Uses and Gratifications Model Audiences therefore use media texts to gratify needs for… Escapism Diversion Information Sexual stimulation Pleasure Comparing relationships and lifestyles with one’s own
  14. 14. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1943)
  15. 15. The Uses and Gratifications Model o The audience is in control and consumption of the media it helps people with issues such as o Emotional satisfaction o Relaxation o Learning o Help with issues of personal identity, social identity and aggression and violence
  16. 16. The Uses and Gratifications Model o Controversially, the theory suggests the consumption of violent images can be helpful rather than harmful o The theory suggests that audiences act out their violent impulses through the consumption of media violence o The audiences inclination towards violence is therefore sublimated, and they are less likely to commit violent acts
  17. 17. Reception Theory o Given that the Effects Model and the Uses and Gratifications Model have their problems and limitations a different approach to audiences was developed by Stuart Hall in the 1970’s o This considered how texts were encoded with the meaning by producers and then decoded (understood) by audiences
  18. 18. Reception Theory o Stuart Hall developed three types of audience readings (decoding) of a media text.. o Dominant or preferred o Negotiated o Oppositional
  19. 19. 1) Dominant or preferred o Where the audience decodes the message as the producer wants them to do and broadly agrees with it o For example, watching a political speech and agreeing with it
  20. 20. 2) Negotiated o Where the audience accepts, rejects or refines elements of the text in light of previously held views o For example, neither agreeing or disagreeing with the political speech or being disinterested
  21. 21. 3) Oppositional o Where the dominant meaning is recognised but rejected for cultural, political or ideological reasons o For example, a total rejection of the political speech and active opposition

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