Learning Objective:• Understand how to plan an answer toexam question 1b.• Revise and understand a range ofaudience theories.
Exam question 1bLike question 1a, 1b is:• about your coursework.• 30 minutes• 25 marksHowever, it is different because:• Only write about one production.• Focus on analysing the product – not describinghow you made it.• You must include at least two theorists.
Which concepts might we beasked about?Audience - how media products target audiences, which audiencesactually consume media products, how media audiences actually readand consume. Critics?Genre – how do we categorise media texts? How does your productrelate to other examples of the same genre? (consider print, audio,video or online). Critics?Narrative - Applying different models of narrative structure to your workmay reveal unconscious things that you did in the way you haveconstructed it. Models and theories?Media Language - genre, narrative, audience, techniques andconventions of different forms of media (how shots are organised infilm, how text is laid out on a page)Representation – how are social groups presented? What messagesare implied? What would particular types of criticism (e.g. feminism)make of it?
Audience• We are going to look at a variety oftheories relating to audience.• Make notes on each one.
The Hypodermic Needle Model• 1920s attempt to explain how mass audiences mightreact to mass media• Audiences passively receive the information• Audiences do not process or challenge the dataso the information is unmediated .The Hypodermic Needle Model
The Hypodermic Needle Model• As an audience, we are manipulated by the creators of mediatexts, and our behaviour can be easily changed by media-makers• Audience are passive and heterogenous• This model is quoted during moral panics
Stuart hallStuart hallandandreceptionreceptiontheorytheory
Or.....You may think that big macs do taste good,but I’ll only have them every now and again …
So there are three possible readings of thatone advert.
The preferred ordominant reading isthe reading mediaproducers hopeaudiences will takefrom the text.
The audience may rejectthe preferred reading,receiving their ownalternative message. This isan oppositional reading.
Negotiated reading is whenaudiences acknowledge thepreferred reading, but modifyit tosuit their own values andopinions – a compromise.
Stuart Hall – Encoding/Decoding• Dominant – ‘flag waving patriot whoresponds to George Bush’s latest speech’.• Oppositional – ‘the pacifist whounderstands the speech but rejects it’.• Negotiated – ‘the viewer who agrees withthe need for a response to Sept. 11thbutdoesn’t agree to the military meansannounced’.
Uses & Gratifications• 1960s – generation had grown up with TV• audiences make choices about what they dowhen consuming texts• audiences made up of individuals whoactively consume texts for differentreasons and in different ways
Uses & GratificationsBlumer and Katz (1974) state a text might be used for thefollowing purposes:• Diversion - escape from everyday problems and routine.• Personal Relationships - using the media for emotionaland other interaction, eg) substituting soap operas forfamily life• Personal Identity - finding yourself reflected in texts,learning behaviour and values from texts• Surveillance - Information which could be useful forliving eg) weather reports, financial news, holidaybargains
Effects Theory(Anderson and Dill)• study into violent videogames• found that real-life violent video game playwas related to aggressive behaviour anddelinquency• laboratory exposure to a graphically violentvideogame increased aggressive thoughtsand behaviour• particularly strong impact on children• studies like this are often cited in moralpanics
Moral Panics - SpringhallSpringhall- a moral panic occurs when the official or pressreaction to a deviant social or culturalphenomenon is out of all proportion to theactual threat offered (1998)- Springhall’s book “Youth, Popular Culture andMoral Panics” points out that moral panicshave occurred in society since the nineteenthcentury. He argues that moral panics givemore of an insight into adult anxieties (e.g. fearof technology and the future).
Audience TheoriesHopefully you now have an understanding of5 audience theories:• Hypodermic needle• Stuart Hall – Reception Theory• Uses and Gratifications• Effects Theory• Springhall - moral panics
Applying audience theory to yourwork• Choose one of your coursework productions and answer thefollowing:1) Who is your target audience? How did you develop your targetaudience?2) How does your production appeal to your target audience?3) What effects could your product have on an audience, according tothe hypodermic needle theory?4) What are the preferred, negotiated and oppositional readings thatcould be made of your product?5) What uses and gratifications will the target audience get from theproduction?6) Applying Effects Theory, are there any possible negative impacts ofyour product?• How useful is the concept of audience in understanding your work?