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Media Theories.

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outline of some major audience theories

outline of some major audience theories

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  • 1. Media theories
  • 2.
    • Effects theory (Hypodermic Syringe, Innoculation) – what the media does to audiences
  • 3.
    • Uses and Gratifications – what audiences do with the media
  • 4.
    • Reception theory (Nationwide audience, Dallas, Seinfeld, etc) – what audiences do to the media
  • 5. Effects Theories
    • Mass media/mass communications make people powerless to resist messages the media carries
    • Consumers are ‘drugged’, ‘addicted’ or ‘hypnotised’
    • Effects theories taken up with protection of young, link between violence and the media
  • 6. Effects Theories
    • Historical stuff
    • Frankfurt School: Marxist German intellectuals reacting against Nazi propaganda and US advertising – suggested the power of big corporations and the state to control how we think
    • Rise of TV in the 50’s and 60’s – fear of danger to children
  • 7. Effects Theories
    • Historical Stuff
    • Influence of behavioural scientists (think of Pavlov’s dogs) – media may reinforce attitudes through repetition
    • Bobo doll experiment (1963) – Bandura and Walters – children imitate adult treatment of doll seen on film
  • 8. Effects Theories
    • Moral panics: Concern, hostility, consensus, disproportionality, volatility
    • Two step flow:
    Media Text
  • 9. Effects Theories
    • Moral panics: Concern, hostility, consensus, disproportionality, volatility
    • Two step flow:
    Media Text Opinion Leaders
  • 10. Effects Theories
    • Moral panics: Concern, hostility, consensus, disproportionality, volatility
    • Two step flow:
    Media Text Opinion Leaders Media Consumers
  • 11. Effects Theories
    • Moral panics: Concern, hostility, consensus, disproportionality, volatility
    • Two step flow:
    Media Text Opinion Leaders Media Consumers 1
  • 12. Effects Theories
    • Moral panics: Concern, hostility, consensus, disproportionality, volatility
    • Two step flow:
    Media Text Opinion Leaders Media Consumers 1 2
  • 13. Effects Theories
    • What’s wrong with effects theories?
    • The problems with violence are often social/psychological not to do with the media
    • The media can often be positive rather than harmful
    • Criticism of the media using the effects model is often politically motivated
    • There is not real grounding of research and theory for this model.
  • 14. U&G
    • Users of the media use media texts to satisfy certain needs
    • Based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs
  • 15. U&G: Denis McQuail (1987)
    • Information : finding out about the world; seeking advice; satisfying curiosity; education; gaining security though knowledge
    • Personal Identity : reinforcement of personal values; models of behaviour; identifying with valued other; gaining insight into oneself
    • Integration and Social Interaction : gaining insight into circumstances of others; identifying with others; basis for conversation with others; substitute for real life companionship; helping to carry out social roles; enabling connection with family friends and society
    • Entertainment : escapism; diversion; relaxation; cultural or aesthetic enjoyment; filling time; emotional release; sexual arousal
  • 16. U&G: James Lull (1990)
    • Structural
    • Environmental: background noise; companionship; entertainment
    • Regulative: keeping time; part of pattern of daily life
    • Relational
    • Communication Facilitation: experience illustration; common ground; conversation starter; anxiety reduction; agenda for talk; value clarification
    • Affiliation/Avoidance: physical/verbal contact/neglect; family solidarity; family relaxant/conflict reducer; relationship maintenance
    • Social Learning: decision making; behaviour modelling; problem solving; value transmission; legitimization; information dissemination; education
    • Competence/Dominance: role enactment; role reinforcement; substitute role portrayal; intellectual validation; authority exercise; gatekeeping; argument facilitation
  • 17. U&G: Richard Kilborn (1992)
    • Part of routine and entertaining reward for work
    • Launchpad of social and personal interaction
    • Fulfilling individual needs – a way of choosing to be alone or of enduring enforced loneliness
    • Identification or involvement with characters
    • Escapist fantasy
    • Focus of debate on topical issues
    • Kind of critical game involving knowledge of rules or conventions of the genre
  • 18. U&G: Problems
    • We may not have choice about what we watch
    • Neglects any aspects of effects theories
    • Neglects socio-economic factors
  • 19. Reception Theory
    • Often as opposite to Effects theories
    • Sees media consumption as active not passive
    • Suggests media texts are polysemic
    • Research examines social, cultural, economic, gender, sexuality as influence on the reading of media texts
  • 20. Reception Theory
    • Active
    • versus
    • Passive
  • 21. Reception Theory
    • Reception Theory
    • versus
    • Effects Theory
  • 22.
    • 1
    Reception Theory
  • 23. Nationwide Audience
    • David Morley 1980
    • Different social/economic groups watched same TV programme
    • Interviews reveal different readings of same text
  • 24. Nationwide Audience
    • Dominant (Hegemonic) reading : reader shares the encoded meanings of the text
    • Negotiated reading : reader shares some of the embedded ideologies but not all
    • Oppositional (counter-hegemonic) reading: where the reader does not share the programme’s code and rejects the preferred reading
  • 25. Nationwide Audience
    • Members of the same subculture will tend to decode texts in similar ways.
    • Individual readings of texts will be framed by shared cultural formations and practices.
  • 26.
    • 2
    Reception Theory
  • 27. Watching Dallas
    • Ien Ang 1985
    • Different social/cultural groups watched same TV programme
    • Interviews reveal different readings of same text
  • 28. Watching Dallas
    • Importance is the pleasure derived from ‘Dallas’ as entertainment
    • Independent of ideas about mass culture
  • 29. Watching Dallas
    • Readers saw characters as either realistic or unrealistic
    • All saw characters as ‘genuine’
    • ‘ Emotional Realism’
    • May see the programme as lowbrow but accept that it is entertaining.
  • 30.
    • 3
    Reception Theory
  • 31. Leibes and Katz on Dallas (1984)
    • International cross cultural groups watched Dallas
    • Retell the story
    • The retelling was shaped by cultural background although there were similar patterns amonst all groups
  • 32.
    • 4
    Reception Theory
  • 33. Watching Seinfeld
    • Lori Yanish 1995
    • Canadian and Dutch viewers’ reactions to Seinfeld
    • Dutch viewers associated American comedy with low class television
    • Media as cultural imperialism
  • 34.
    • 5
    Reception Theory
  • 35. Madonna
    • John Fiske 1989
    • Does Madonna exploit the music industry or does the music industry exploit Madonna?
  • 36. Modes of Address
    • How a text is constructed to make us feel that it is specifically aimed at us
    • The ways in which texts built to appeal to particular audiences (Skins, any children’s programme, The Sun)