AUDIENCES AND AUDIENCE THEORY In our media lessons we have been learning about why audiences are important and the different audience theory.
Why audiences are importantTo read or watch the texts.To help make money.So that there is someone to promote a product to.To gain feedback about the product.To help make the product what it is - a film is meaningless unlessit has been decoded by an audience.
How are audiences definedAudiences can be defined as follows:Socio-economic groupAgeGenderEthnicityLifestyle
Hypodermic Needle EffectExplains how mass audiences might react to mass media.Suggests that audiences passively receive the information transmitted via amedia text, without any attempt to process or challenge the data.Experience, intelligence ad opinion are not relevant.People are manipulated by the creators of media texts.The behavior of people and thinking might be easily changed by mediamakers.Propaganda - zeitgeist affects media communicationsAdvertising - heterogenous, passive
Two Step FlowThe hypodermic needle effect was proved to be too “clumsy”.Paul Lazarsfelel, bernard Berelson and Hazel Gaudet.Information does not flow directly from the text into the minds ofits audience unmediated.However it is filtered through opinion leaders who thencommunicate it to their less active associates over whom theyhave influence.
Uses and GratificationsAudiences were made up of individuals who actively consumedtexts for different reasons and in different ways.In 1948 Laswell suggested media texts related to:surveillancecorrelationentertainmentcultural transmission
Uses and GratificationsLists of uses and gratifications have been extended:schadenfreuderitual pleasure of consuming the familiarentertainmentdiversion, direct mode of addresspersonal relationshipsidentificationself definitionsense of being given to
Reception TheoryThe way individuals received and interpreted a text and how their individualcircumstances (gender, class, age, ethnicity) affected their reading or reception.Stuart Hall’s theoryencoding, decoding model of the relationship between text and audience.the text is encoded by the producerthe text is decoded by the readerthere may be major differences between two different readings of the same code.texts can be polysemic - they have many meaningsPreferred reading vs aberrant reading - depending on the readers (SAGEL)