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Audience theory

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Audience theory

  1. 1. Audience Theory
  2. 2. The Effects Model/ Hypodermic Model  It is said that the consumption of media texts has an effect or influence upon the audience and this is usually seen in a negative way.  The audience are passive and powerless, the power lies with the message of the text.  The Model says that the messages in the media texts are injected into the audience by a powerful, syringe-like source (the Media). The audience can’t resist it and so it turns into an addiction.
  3. 3. Evidence  A Frankfurt School in 1920s and 30s came up with the idea that mass media was used to control audiences and benefit capitalism.  Another experiment called Bobo Doll Experiment, showed that children copied that violent behaviour that they see in the media.  However, it was concluded that there were no clear link between violent media content and behaviour.  But the Effects Model does contribute to Moral Panics.
  4. 4. Uses and Gratifications Model  This model opposes the Effects Model as it states that the audience is active and they use it, the text doesn’t use them.  The audience use the texts for their own gratifications and pleasure and, therefore, they have the power.  The audience is then free to reject, use or play with media.
  5. 5.  Audience use media to gratify needs for; diversion, escapism, information, pleasure, comparing relationship and lifestyles with one’s own and sexual stimulation.  Audience is in control and helps with issues such as; learning, emotional satisfaction, help with issues of personal identity, social issues, aggression and violence.
  6. 6.  The uses and gratifications model can be helpful rather than harmful in the case of consumption of violence as the audience can get out their violent impulses through the media. Therefore, they are less likely to commit violent crimes.
  7. 7. Reception Theory  Stuart Hall from Birmingham University came up with the Reception Theory in 1970.  He said that the media texts are encoded with meanings or messages by producers and then decoded (understood) by audiences.  Sometimes audiences will decode the message and understand. Sometimes audiences will reject or fail to understand.
  8. 8. Three types of decoding;  Dominant – decodes and agrees  Negotiated – refines elements of the text – they are disinterested and neither agree, nor disagree.  Oppositional – decodes and rejects for cultural, political or ideological reasons.

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