Nicholas Abercrombie suggests that the boundariesbetween genres are shifting and becoming morepermeable (Abercrombie 1996, 45); Abercrombie isconcerned with modern television, which he suggestsseems to be engaged in a steady dismantling of genre(ibid.) which can be attributed in part to economicpressures to pursue new audiences. One may acknowledge the dynamic fluidity of genreswithout positing the final demise of genre as aninterpretive framework. As the generic corpus ceaselesslyexpands, genres (and the relationships between them)change over time; the conventions of each genre shift,new genres and sub-genres emerge and others arediscontinued (though note that certain genres seemparticularly long-lasting)..
Applying genre theory to aproduction Which medium did you use in yourfoundation production? Your advanced production? Your ancillary texts?
Tzvetan Todorov argued that a new genre is always thetransformation of one or several old genres (cited inSwales 1990, 36). Each new work within a genre has the potential toinfluence changes within the genre or perhaps theemergence of new sub-genres (which may later blossominto fully-fledged genres). However, such a perspectivetends to highlight the role of authorial experimentation inchanging genres and their conventions, whereas it isimportant to recognise not only the social nature of textproduction but especially the role of economic andtechnological factors as well as changing audiencepreferences
Gunther Kress observes that: Every genre positions those who participate in a text of that kind: as interviewer orinterviewee, as listener or storyteller, as a reader or a writer, as a personinterested in political matters, as someone to be instructed or as someone whoinstructs; each of these positionings implies different possibilities for response andfor action. Each written text provides a reading position for readers, a positionconstructed by the writer for the ideal reader of the text. (Kress 1988, 107) Thus, embedded within texts are assumptions about the ideal reader, includingtheir attitudes towards the subject matter and often their class, age, gender andethnicity. Gunther Kress defines a genre as a kind of text that derives its form from thestructure of a (frequently repeated) social occasion, with its characteristicparticipants and their purposes (Kress 1988, 183). An interpretative emphasis on genre as opposed to individual texts can help toremind us of the social nature of the production and interpretation of texts. Inrelation to film, many modern commentators refer to the commercial and industrialsignificance of genres.
John Hartley argues that genres are agents ofideological closure - they limit the meaning-potential of a given text (OSullivan et al. 1994,128). Robert Hodge and Gunther Kress define genresas typical forms of texts which link kinds ofproducer, consumer, topic, medium, manner andoccasion, adding that they control the behaviourof producers of such texts, and the expectationsof potential consumers (Hodge & Kress 1988, 7).Genres can be seen as constituting a kind of tacitcontract between authors and readers.