Media and collective identity
First thing to deal with is this idea of identity being ‘mediated’:
One definition of ‘mediation’ – ‘a negotiation to resolve differences’ is useful as it
introduce the idea of us using negotiated readings of media to help us construct media.
So not taking the messages at face value but understanding them in context and using
our own experience.
Stuart Hall Audience reception theory
Preferred/dominant reading- when an audience accepts the message encoded in the text
Negotiated reading- where an audience largely accepts what is encode in a text but draws
on sociological and cultural contexts, personal experiences and opinions in order to create
Oppositional- when an audience rejects the encoded message
Take a look at this Macdonald’s advert. Write a sentence or two about how an audience
could adopt each reading.
Stuart Hall in summary
Audience reception theory suggests that audiences don’t just accept what is in front of
them, but are actually involved with creating meaning as it relates to their own personal
Using a case-study that you have looked at, write a paragraph or two which analyses how
different audiences might interpret the text and why. Think about:
Who is being represented and how might they read it?
How might a person outside of this social group read the text?
He theorized that mythologies are formed to perpetuate an idea of society that adheres to
the current ideologies of the ruling class and its media. He argues that an audience looks for
signs to help them interpret what they see.
The signifier- a word, image, symbol, etc that can be interpreted
The signified- the message behind the signifier
The sign- the meaning, how we interpret the combination of the signifier and what is
signified (the sum of the signifier and the signified).
Think of the red light in a set of traffic lights.
What is signified is that France is a great multi-cultural nation.
He argues that ‘the picture does not explicitly demonstrate 'that
France is a great empire’ but the combination of the signifier and
signified perpetuates the myth of imperial devotion, success and
thus; a property of 'significance' for the picture (the sign)
Choose a case study that you have looked at and write a paragraph which draws upon
Barthes’ theory. Think about how an image, symbol, scene, characters are used to create
meaning and how these become signifiers.