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  1. 1. Audience
  2. 2. Some key words What do they mean and how do they relate to audience? Mass Niche Target Secondary Passive Active Homogenous Polysemic
  3. 3. What is audience all about? The people who consume a media product or media text. Any media text will have intended target audience – a mass/mainstream or niche audience. Products can also have a wider or secondary audience who are not the target audience but may still consume (buy/watch) the media text. The relationship between producer, media text and audience affects the way meaning is produced and how we read and understand texts. Audiences can be passive or active, homogenous or polysemic. *homogenous = one big audience who all respond in the same way to the same text *polysemic = lots of different audiences with different experiences and will respond differently to the same text
  4. 4. What theory do you already know? Theorist Theory
  5. 5. Audience Details (demographics) • Demographics is all about details to consider about an audience: – Age (babies, toddlers, children, teenagers, young adult, adult, OAP) – Gender (male/female/transgendered) – Race/ethnicity (asian, white, black, latino etc) – Social class (lower class (severe poverty), working class (near poverty), lower middle (average income), upper middle (above average income), upper (high earnings) ***(see next slide for categories) – Values/attitudes (deep concern and care for environment or the treatment of children/education/minority groups etc) – Interests, hobbies (clubs, photography, boating, swing dancing, rowing, tattoos) – Social group (sporty, goth/emo, religion, punk, rocker, hippie) – Sexuality (straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual) – Location (country, part of country, city/town….irish/north/south/dublin/belfast) – Profession/role (mother, carer, teacher, student, business, author, etc.)
  6. 6. Audience – SOCIAL CLASS Grade Occupation A Higher managerial, administrative or professional B Intermediate managerial, administrative or professional C1 Supervisory or clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional C2 Skilled manual workers D Semi and unskilled manual workers E Casual or lowest grade workers, pensioners and others who depend on the state for their income Group Description NRS equivalent 1 Higher Professional and Managerial workers A 2 Lower Managerial and Professional workers B 3 Intermediate occupations C1 and C2 4 Small Employers and non professional self-employed C1 and C2 5 Lower Supervisory and technical C1 and C2 6 Semi Routine Occupations D 7 Routine Occupations D 8 Long term unemployed E21st century 20th century
  7. 7. Genre and audience • You can’t have a text without an audience! • Successful genre = register meaning with audience • Similar films will follow, thus conventions develop • Example: • Think of the success of paranormal activity and the impact its had on horror/thriller genres
  8. 8. GENRE AND AUDIENCE • Audience = the (intended or not) group who will view, participate or observe a text • There is a relationship between genre and audience • Why do audiences find genres satisfying? • Genre could be a means of satisfying an audience: – Audiences develop an understanding that certain expectations may be fulfilled and they may find pleasure in predicting what will happen next – Audiences know what to expect from a genre but at the same time want some variations to prevent dissatisfaction and even boredom – Thus any text in a genre is a combination of the familiar and the unexpected (inevitable lead into subgenre/hybrids)
  9. 9. Audience and film genre • Example: GENDER – MALES – sci/fi, action/adventure, gangster, war – FEMALES – musicals, chick flicks, love story/romance • AUDIENCE EXPECTATION – Genre depends on what audience expects to see – Example: you pay to see a romantic-comedy, with anticipation of light-hearted entertainment, warm/feel good factor – The industry is totally aware of audience and aims to make films to satisfy our expectations (needs/wants) – Marketing of films plays on our knowledge of genre • Consider movie posters = not just title, denotation/connotation of images (iconography) • However, iconography is dependant on our exposure to media texts (we acquire knowledge/understanding/familiarity over time of seeing a variety of similar images) – Studio profit • Remember the film industry is a business (especially main stream films): its aims are to firstly make money! They adhere to genre restrictions because they will sell because they are familiar & recognisable for MASS audiences – it’s a tried and tested way of securing investments to be able to make films • More independent labels might have different aims; more artistic for different NICHE audiences .
  10. 10. Audience Theorists Stuart Hall – encoding and decoding McQuail – uses & gratifications Altman – set of pleasures Effects Theory Hypodermic Needle Model (effects theory) Two Step Flow (effects theory) Cultivation(effects theory) Reception Theory
  11. 11. Stuart Hall • audience as active participants • All about encoding and decoding • producer does encoding ( constructs meaning through technical devices) • -audience do the decoding (interpreting the meaning) • quite often there is a difference between the producers intentions and the audience reads. Hall states the audience can interpret texts in different ways: 1) preferred reading - as producer intended 2) negotiated reading - a combination of what producer intended but some oppositional 3) oppositional reading - a reading/ interpretation from the audience which is the opposite to what the producer intended (because of their experience/knowledge) • The idea is that every spectator has their own personal experience and knowledge and are able to actively question or challenge a texts representation. Everyone's previous experience of media texts and experience of the world shapes their interpretations of texts.
  12. 12. ALTMAN • Genre also allows audiences to make choices about what products they want to consume through acceptance in order to fulfil a particular pleasure. • Theorist Rick Altman (1999) argues that ‘genre offers audiences ‘a set of pleasures’. • can also be linked to Denis McQuail’s (1972) theory on ‘uses and gratifications’ What pleasures do you get from film genres? Drama = Action = Thriller/Horror = Do we get any other pleasures do we get from film?
  13. 13. USE & GRATIFICATION THEORY McQuail • USE = for people to use media texts • GRATIFICATION = people get gratification from using media texts (Gratification = satisfaction, indulgence, fulfilment, delight, pleasure) • Basically, ‘uses & gratifications’ theory is a theory that argues that media texts are made to satisfy the needs and desires of it’s audience. 4 categories • Information – to need to learn/gain info • Entertainment – the need to be entertained • Personal identity - need to reinforce sense of self) • Social interaction - desire to create discussion about the txt
  14. 14. USE & GRATIFICATION THEORY • Why do people use/seek the media? INFORMATION PERSONAL IDENTITY INTEGRATION & SOCIAL INTERACTION ENTERTAINMENT -finding out about relevant events and conditions in immediate surroundings, society and the world -seeking advice on practical matters or opinion and decision choices -satisfying curiosity and general interest -learning; self-education -gaining a sense of security through knowledge -finding reinforcement for personal values -finding models of behaviour -identifying with valued other (in the media) -gaining insight into one's self -gaining insight into circumstances of others; social empathy -identifying with others and gaining a sense of belonging -finding a basis for conversation and social interaction -having a substitute for real- life companionship -helping to carry out social roles -enabling one to connect with family, friends and society -escaping, or being diverted, from problems -relaxing -getting intrinsic (basic/essential) cultural or aesthetic enjoyment -filling time -emotional release
  15. 15. Effects theory • Pg 92/93 in revision book Effects theory Hypodermic needle model Two step flow cultivation
  16. 16. Hyperdermic needle model • Sees audiences as passive as if images/idea are being 'injected' into the viewers mind and influenced by what they watch. • However, it's an outdated view as audiences are believed to take an active role in their viewing.
  17. 17. Two step flow • Refines the basic effects theory model • Assumes a more active audience who will discuss media texts together • If text is discussed or taught with someone ‘respected’ then we may be passive enough to accept their received views. (believe their opinions) • Just think of how influential someone can be!
  18. 18. Cultivation • Difficult to prove effects (of media texts) on individuals • This is a more refined version of effects theory • A single text does not have much effect, but repeated exposure will make audience less sensitive which is called ‘desensitised’ • For example – Many films have been banned in the past which are then shown years later • This is because social attitudes and expectations have changed
  19. 19. Reception Theory • Pg 94/95 Hall’s theory is under this -active audiences who think for themselves -challenge ideas and texts -text doesn’t have a single meaning -texts are interpretative -tries to understand the reasons why people interpret messages differently -there are drawbacks/problems to theory however…. Dominant/hegemonic reading – the reader shares the programme’s codes* and accepts the preferred meaning *Code – the meaning system of values/attitudes/beliefs/assumptions – remember ‘dominant ideology’?
  20. 20. Revision notes Theorist/theory Coursework ex 1 Camera/filming Coursework ex 2 editing Coursework ex 3 MES Hall – encoding/decoding -preferred/negotiated/oppositional Producer: Audience: