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Year 13 media audience theories

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An overview od key theories for you to refer to in your analysis.

An overview od key theories for you to refer to in your analysis.


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  • 1. Audience Theories
  • 2. Audience Segmentation – Marketing StrategyA – Higher Managerial, administration or professionalB – Intermediate managerial, administration orprofessionalC1 – Supervisory or clerical, junior managerial,administrative or professionalC2 – Skilled manual workersD – Semi-skilled and unskilled manual workersE – Casual labourers, unemployed, pensioners
  • 3. Advertisers segment audiences on thebasis of ‘socio-economic values’ such as:Survivors – Those who want security and likeroutineSocial climbers – Those who have a strongmaterialistic drive and like status symbolsCare givers – Those who believe in ‘caring andsharing’Explorers – Those for whom personal growth andinfluencing social change are important
  • 4. Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs – Abraham Maslow (1954)Physiological Needs – food, drink, sleep, sex, relief frompainSafety Needs – security, protection, freedom from danger,orderLove and belonging- friends, a family, being part of a groupEsteem needs – respect, confidence, admiration, self-worthSelf-actualisation needs – fulfil one’s potential discovertruth, create beauty, promote justice, produce order
  • 5. The Power Elite - C Wright Mills (1956)•Suggested that the Media perform four keyfunctions for audiences•IDENTITY•ASPIRATION•INSTRUCTION•ESCAPISM
  • 6. Uses and Gratifications Theory Blumler and Katz (1974)•Sees the audience as active consumers whoselect and choose the media they consumeaccording to various needs that they have:.
  • 7. •Diversion – a form of escape from everyday lives•Personal relationships – companionship throughidentification with TV characters and sociabilitythrough discussion about TV with others•Personal identity – The ability to compare one’sown life with the characters/situations and exploreown problems etc•Surveillance - Information about what ishappening in the World
  • 8. Richard Dyer’s Utopian Theory (1977)Real life - UtopiaExhaustion - EnergyScarcity - AbundanceDreariness - IntensityDishonesty - TransparencyIsolation - Community
  • 9. Effects Theory or The Hypodermic Needle Theory•This theory suggests that the Media ‘inject’ ideasinto a passive audience, like giving a patient adrug• Bandura & Walters’ Bobo Doll experiment (1963)•The Frankfurt School (1930s)

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