Audience Theory
 Attempts to explain how audiences respondAttempts to explain how audiences respond
to media textsto medi...
Passive Models
 Assume audience is passive and vulnerable toAssume audience is passive and vulnerable to
influence of med...
Active Models
 Assume audience are active in interpretingAssume audience are active in interpreting
Media content. Not as...
“Meaning” is dynamic not fixed
 The concept that there are different possibleThe concept that there are different possibl...
Uses and Gratifications Model
 Blumler and Katz 1974Blumler and Katz 1974
 Individuals actively use media to meet certai...
Uses and Gratifications Explained
 The Uses and Gratifications Theory follows a basic model.The Uses and Gratifications T...
Uses and Gratifications Explained
 The media dependency theory, has also been explored as an extensionThe media dependenc...
Uses and Gratifications Explained
 DeFleur and Ball-Rokeach (1976) illustrate dependency asDeFleur and Ball-Rokeach (1976...
Stuart Hall & Cultural Studies
 Stuart Hall’s research in Cultural Studies looked atStuart Hall’s research in Cultural St...
Encoding-Decoding Theory
 Stuart HallStuart Hall
 Preferred ReadingPreferred Reading
 Negotiated ReadingNegotiated Read...
Encoding-Decoding Theory
 Extending the concept of an active audience still further, in the 1980sExtending the concept of...
Preferred Readings
 Preferred meanings are those meanings that thePreferred meanings are those meanings that the
institut...
Oppositional Readings
 Loach’s film has a preferred reading whichLoach’s film has a preferred reading which
challenges th...
Negotiated Readings
 Some of the audience for the film in bothSome of the audience for the film in both
Britain and Irela...
Reception Theory
 The Active ReaderThe Active Reader
 Audiences read texts in different ways,Audiences read texts in dif...
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Audience theory powerpoint_with_explanations

  1. 1. Audience Theory  Attempts to explain how audiences respondAttempts to explain how audiences respond to media textsto media texts
  2. 2. Passive Models  Assume audience is passive and vulnerable toAssume audience is passive and vulnerable to influence of mediainfluence of media  Mass Manipulation Model, also known as theMass Manipulation Model, also known as the Hypodermic NeedleHypodermic Needle modelmodel Evidence:Evidence:  Nazi/Soviet propagandaNazi/Soviet propaganda  ‘‘The War of the Worlds’ 1938 radio broadcastThe War of the Worlds’ 1938 radio broadcast (Orson Welles)(Orson Welles)
  3. 3. Active Models  Assume audience are active in interpretingAssume audience are active in interpreting Media content. Not as likely to beMedia content. Not as likely to be ‘influenced’‘influenced’  Uses and Gratifications modelUses and Gratifications model  Encoding/Decoding theoryEncoding/Decoding theory  Reception TheoryReception Theory
  4. 4. “Meaning” is dynamic not fixed  The concept that there are different possibleThe concept that there are different possible readings meant that meaning is:readings meant that meaning is:  Created out of complex social processesCreated out of complex social processes  It is not something that is fixed within aIt is not something that is fixed within a particular textparticular text  Audiences themselves help to createAudiences themselves help to create meaningmeaning
  5. 5. Uses and Gratifications Model  Blumler and Katz 1974Blumler and Katz 1974  Individuals actively use media to meet certain needsIndividuals actively use media to meet certain needs  Diversion -Diversion - escape from everyday problems and routine.escape from everyday problems and routine.  Personal Relationships -Personal Relationships - using the media for emotional andusing the media for emotional and other interaction, eg substituting soap operas for familyother interaction, eg substituting soap operas for family life.life.  Personal Identity -Personal Identity - finding yourself reflected in texts,finding yourself reflected in texts, learning behaviour and values from texts.learning behaviour and values from texts.  Surveillance - iSurveillance - information which could be useful for livingnformation which could be useful for living eg) weather reports, financial news, holiday bargains.eg) weather reports, financial news, holiday bargains.
  6. 6. Uses and Gratifications Explained  The Uses and Gratifications Theory follows a basic model.The Uses and Gratifications Theory follows a basic model. It is an audience-centered approach. When an audienceIt is an audience-centered approach. When an audience actively seeks out media, they are typically seeking it inactively seeks out media, they are typically seeking it in order to gratify a need. For example, in social situations,order to gratify a need. For example, in social situations, people may feel more confident and knowledgeable whenpeople may feel more confident and knowledgeable when they have specific facts and stories from media to add tothey have specific facts and stories from media to add to conversation. By seeking out media, a person fulfills aconversation. By seeking out media, a person fulfills a need to be informed.need to be informed.  Social situations and psychological characteristicsSocial situations and psychological characteristics motivate the need for media, which motivates certainmotivate the need for media, which motivates certain expectations of that media. This expectation leads one toexpectations of that media. This expectation leads one to be exposed to media that would seemingly fit expectations,be exposed to media that would seemingly fit expectations, leading to an ultimate gratification.leading to an ultimate gratification.
  7. 7. Uses and Gratifications Explained  The media dependency theory, has also been explored as an extensionThe media dependency theory, has also been explored as an extension to the uses and gratifications approach to media, though there is ato the uses and gratifications approach to media, though there is a subtle difference between the two theories. People's dependency onsubtle difference between the two theories. People's dependency on media proves audience goals to be the origin of the dependency whilemedia proves audience goals to be the origin of the dependency while the uses and gratifications approach focuses more on audience needsthe uses and gratifications approach focuses more on audience needs (Grant et al., 1998). Still, both theories agree that media use can lead(Grant et al., 1998). Still, both theories agree that media use can lead to media dependency (Rubin, 1982).to media dependency (Rubin, 1982).  The media dependency theory states that the more dependent anThe media dependency theory states that the more dependent an individual is on the media to fulfill needs, the more significant theindividual is on the media to fulfill needs, the more significant the media becomes to that person.media becomes to that person.
  8. 8. Uses and Gratifications Explained  DeFleur and Ball-Rokeach (1976) illustrate dependency asDeFleur and Ball-Rokeach (1976) illustrate dependency as the relationship between media content, the nature ofthe relationship between media content, the nature of society, and the behavior of audiences.society, and the behavior of audiences.  Littlejohn (2002) also explained that people will becomeLittlejohn (2002) also explained that people will become more dependent on media that meet a number of theirmore dependent on media that meet a number of their needs than on media that touch only a few ones.needs than on media that touch only a few ones.  Dependency on a certain medium is influenced by theDependency on a certain medium is influenced by the number sources open to an individual. Individuals arenumber sources open to an individual. Individuals are usually more dependent on available media if their accessusually more dependent on available media if their access to media alternatives is limited. The more alternativesto media alternatives is limited. The more alternatives there are for an individual, the lesser is the dependency onthere are for an individual, the lesser is the dependency on and influence of a specific medium.and influence of a specific medium.
  9. 9. Stuart Hall & Cultural Studies  Stuart Hall’s research in Cultural Studies looked atStuart Hall’s research in Cultural Studies looked at the ideological content of media products and alsothe ideological content of media products and also researched how audiences consumed theseresearched how audiences consumed these products and the processes by which meaning wasproducts and the processes by which meaning was createdcreated  Hall came to realise thatHall came to realise that meaningmeaning was not a fixedwas not a fixed category rather it was the interaction by specificcategory rather it was the interaction by specific audiences with the text at a certain time and aaudiences with the text at a certain time and a certain place which all contributed to the creationcertain place which all contributed to the creation of meaningof meaning
  10. 10. Encoding-Decoding Theory  Stuart HallStuart Hall  Preferred ReadingPreferred Reading  Negotiated ReadingNegotiated Reading  Oppositional ReadingOppositional Reading
  11. 11. Encoding-Decoding Theory  Extending the concept of an active audience still further, in the 1980sExtending the concept of an active audience still further, in the 1980s and 1990s a lot of work was done on the way individuals received andand 1990s a lot of work was done on the way individuals received and interpreted a text, and how their individual circumstances (gender,interpreted a text, and how their individual circumstances (gender, class, age, ethnicity) affected their reading.class, age, ethnicity) affected their reading.  This work was based on Stuart Hall'sThis work was based on Stuart Hall's encoding/decodingencoding/decoding model of themodel of the relationship between text and audience - the text is encoded by therelationship between text and audience - the text is encoded by the producer, and decoded by the reader, and there may be majorproducer, and decoded by the reader, and there may be major differences between two different readings of the same code.differences between two different readings of the same code.  However, by using recognised codes and conventions, and by drawingHowever, by using recognised codes and conventions, and by drawing upon audience expectations relating to aspects such as genre and useupon audience expectations relating to aspects such as genre and use of stars, the producers canof stars, the producers can positionposition the audience and thus create athe audience and thus create a certain amount of agreement on what the code means. This is knowncertain amount of agreement on what the code means. This is known as aas a preferredpreferred reading.reading.
  12. 12. Preferred Readings  Preferred meanings are those meanings that thePreferred meanings are those meanings that the institutions which are responsible for creating theinstitutions which are responsible for creating the media text want to put into the public domainmedia text want to put into the public domain  These meanings may agree with or dispute theThese meanings may agree with or dispute the dominant ideological meanings within society atdominant ideological meanings within society at the time of releasethe time of release  For example: at the time of writing Ken Loach’sFor example: at the time of writing Ken Loach’s exploration of Britain’s role in Irish history inexploration of Britain’s role in Irish history in TheThe Wind that Shakes the BarleyWind that Shakes the Barley has upset manyhas upset many English film critics who have read the film as anti-English film critics who have read the film as anti- British. Irish critics have analysed the filmBritish. Irish critics have analysed the film differentlydifferently
  13. 13. Oppositional Readings  Loach’s film has a preferred reading whichLoach’s film has a preferred reading which challenges thechallenges the dominant ideologicaldominant ideological thinkingthinking in Britain about British and Irishin Britain about British and Irish historyhistory  Most British critics have made anMost British critics have made an oppositional readingoppositional reading of the textof the text
  14. 14. Negotiated Readings  Some of the audience for the film in bothSome of the audience for the film in both Britain and Ireland will come to the filmBritain and Ireland will come to the film with some historical knowledgewith some historical knowledge  Loach’s film will thus be another textLoach’s film will thus be another text adding richness to the field of analysis andadding richness to the field of analysis and interpretation of British and Irish historyinterpretation of British and Irish history  The meaning will therefore be aThe meaning will therefore be a negotiatednegotiated readingreading
  15. 15. Reception Theory  The Active ReaderThe Active Reader  Audiences read texts in different ways,Audiences read texts in different ways, often determined by demographicoften determined by demographic characteristics eg gender, racecharacteristics eg gender, race  Justin Lewis: ‘The Cosby Show’Justin Lewis: ‘The Cosby Show’  Ien Ang: ‘Dallas’Ien Ang: ‘Dallas’

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