Theory: Reception Theory
Theorists: Stuart Hall
What is the theory?
Reception Theory is split into two parts. The first part is about Encoding and Decoding.
Encoding is where the media producer puts a message in their product. For example
newspapers use anchoring to put a message across to their audience about how they
should feel about the story. Decoding is where the audience understands the message in
the product. The second part is about how the audience interprets the message in the
media product. First is preferred, where the reader understands and agrees with the
message. Second is negotiated, where the readers largely understands, but modifies it to
reflect themselves. Third is oppositional, where the reader has an opposite view to the
message given to them.
Does this theory see the audience as active or passive? Why do you think this?
I think that this Theory suggests that people are largely active. This is because they can
make decisions for themselves about whether or not they agree with the messages the
media present to them.
What are the criticisms of this theory?
Audience may not understand the message at all.