Audience response theories

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Audience response theories

  1. 1. Audience ResponseTheoriesRachel HeyesThe Manchester College
  2. 2. ConsumptionPassive ActiveAudiences are believed to respondpassively to media products – That is,the media tells them something, andthey all respond in the same wayAudiences are made up of individualswho each respond in different ways,depending on their own opinions,experiences and personalities
  3. 3. Hypodermic NeedleModelThe hypodermic syringe theory is that the media is like asyringe which injects ideas, attitudes and beliefs into theaudience• In some cases this may work, but the problem is thatpeople are affected in different ways by the media - films,advertising, newspapers, television etc.• The ‘audience’ are also now much more critically aware ofthe media and having ideas ‘injected’ into them.• However, this theory still has uses - i.e. watching violentcrimes can make you violent, for example the Jamie Bulgerkillers, copycat crimes, the ‘Power Rangers’ fighting in playgrounds.
  4. 4. Two Step FlowThe two-step flow theory suggests:• We are much more likely to be affected by the media if wediscuss it with others.• Our opinions are affected by the way our friends etc have viewedthe media, i.e. discussions on Eastenders - Cat and Zoe, views ondocumentaries etc.• The people we discuss our ideas with are called ‘opinionleaders’.• This is another theory where the James Bulger case has beencited - apparently one boy talked to his friend about a film he hadwatched and apparently influenced the other’s behaviour.
  5. 5. Uses and GratificationsTheoryAccording to uses and gratification theory we all have different uses forthe media and we make choices over what we want to watch. We areexpecting something from our use of the media.1. Information - we may want to find out about society and the world. Wewant to satisfy our curiosity.2. Personal Identity - we may watch television for models for ourbehaviour. For instance - we may identify with soap characters ortheir situations.3. Integration and Social Interaction - we use the media to find out moreabout the circumstances of other people perhaps through empathyor sympathy.4. Entertainment - enjoyment, relaxation, fill the time.CRITICISMS: You don’t always choose what media you use - you may be asecondary or tertiary user. Your mum has the remote control! You haveno control over what posters you see on your way to work or college.
  6. 6. Audience ResponseModelsRachel HeyesThe Manchester College
  7. 7. Reception TheoryPreferred Negotiated OppositionalThe preferred reading isthe reading mediaproducers hopeaudiences will takefrom the text.Negotiated reading iswhen audiencesacknowledge thepreferred reading, butmodify it tosuit their own valuesand opinions.Audience membersfrom outside the targetaudience may reject thepreferred reading,receiving their ownalternative message.

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