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  1. 1. AUDIENCES <ul><li>It is virtually impossible these days to go through a day without encountering the media in some form. You may wake up to the sound of the radio, play a walkman on your way into college, pass billboards in the street and watch television or go to a film in the evening. We are all therefore part of the audience for these different kinds of media products. </li></ul><ul><li>Since the early days of the media this question has been discussed widely throughout the world. Some people have seen media audiences as being easily manipulated masses of people who can be persuaded to buy products through advertising, or to follow corrupt leaders through propaganda. There have also been fears that the contents of media texts can make their audiences behave in different ways - become more violent for example. On the other hand there have been other critics who have seen the media as having much less influence and working in more subtle ways. </li></ul>
  2. 2. Audiences <ul><li>Mass Audiences : Texts that appeal to the majority of the population are considered to be aimed at a mass audience. </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of texts do you think are aimed at a mass audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Niche Audiences : Smaller audiences, who interact with media texts that speak to them specifically because of their interests, background or subject matter. </li></ul>
  3. 3. AUDIENCES <ul><li>Key Audience Theories </li></ul><ul><li>The Hypodermic syringe </li></ul><ul><li>The Cultivation theory </li></ul><ul><li>The two step flow </li></ul><ul><li>Uses and Gratifications </li></ul><ul><li>Reception analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Preferred, Negotiated and Oppositional Reading </li></ul>
  4. 4. The hypodermic syringe model - mass audience theory <ul><li>According to the theory the media is like a syringe which injects ideas, attitudes and beliefs into the audience who as a powerless mass have little choice but to be influenced- in other words, you watch something violent, you may go and do something violent, you see a woman washing up on T.V. and you will want to do the same yourself if you are a woman and if you are a man you will expect women to do the washing up for you. </li></ul><ul><li>The audience in this case would be seen as passive audiences. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Some examples <ul><li>This theory has been particularly popular when people have been considering violence in films. There have been films such as The Exorcist and A Clockwork Orange which had been banned partly because of a belief that they might encourage people to copy the crimes within them but on the other hand no-one has ever really claimed that every-one will be affected by these texts in the same way . Many people have therefore seen the theory as simplistic because it doesn't take any account of people's individuality and yet it is still very popular in society particularly for politicians looking for reasons why society has become more violent which can't be blamed on them. A good example of this is Dumblane- there has never been a real suggestion that Thomas Hamilton watched a lot of violent films but a kind of woolly thinking has allowed newspapers and MPs to link his dreadful crime to video violence. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Another interesting example of the theory in action is the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Before every one of his murders, he watched a clip from his favourite film in order to get himself excited. This is the kind of fact that might seem to prove the hypodermic syringe theory but the film was Star Wars and no-one has ever suggested that the film should be banned- clearly the film meant very different things to him to what it means for you or me. </li></ul><ul><li>Can you think of any media texts which you feel have had a big effect on you and made you behave in any way differently? </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Cultivation theory mass audience theory <ul><li>Because of the difficulty of proving the effects of individual media texts on their audience a more refined version of the theory has been created called the cultivation model: </li></ul><ul><li>According to this, while any one media text does not have too much effect, years and years of watching more violence will make you less sensitive to violence, years and years of watching women being mistreated in soaps will make you less bothered about it in real life. </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think about this as an idea- can you think of anything that upset you the first time you saw it on television which you now take for granted. </li></ul><ul><li>One difficulty with hypodermic and this model is that they are very difficult to prove. </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you think it is difficult to prove? </li></ul>
  8. 8. The two step flow mass audience theory <ul><li>The idea of this is that whatever our experience of the media we will be likely to discuss it with others and if we respect their opinion, the chances are that we will be more likely to be affected by it. (The theory calls these people opinion leaders.) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Preferred, Negotiated and Oppositional Reading <ul><li>David Morley found that there were 3 ways to read a text. </li></ul><ul><li>A Preferred reading is the reading which the media producers want the audience to receive. </li></ul><ul><li>A Negotiated reading is one where the audience accepts the meaning the media producers intend for the text but it changes some of the intentions of the text to suit its own position. </li></ul><ul><li>An Oppositional reading is one where the audience reject the preferred reading of the text and interpret the text in the opposite way. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Uses and Gratifications – active audiences <ul><li>We all have different uses for the media and we make choices over what we want to watch. In other words, when we encounter a media text, it is not just some kind of mindless entertainment- we are expecting to get something from it: some kind of gratification. </li></ul><ul><li>But what does this actually mean? What kinds of gratification can we be getting? In general researchers have found four: </li></ul>
  11. 12. USES AND GRATIFICATION <ul><li>Personal Identity- we may watch the television in order to look for models for our behaviour. So, for example, we may identify with characters that we see in a soap. The characters help us to decide what feel about ourselves and if we agree with their actions and they succeed we feel better about ourselves- think of the warm feeling you get when you favourite character triumphs at the end of a programme. </li></ul><ul><li>Information - we want to find out about society and the world- we want to satisfy our curiosity. This would fit news and documentaries which both give us a sense that we are learning about the world. </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>3. Entertainment- sometimes we simply use the media for enjoyment, relaxation or just to fill time. </li></ul><ul><li>You can probably recognise yourself in some of these descriptions and not surprisingly uses and gratification theory has become quite popular amongst media critics. It is important to remember with this theory that it is likely that with any media text you enjoy, you will be getting a number of Gratifications from it and not just one </li></ul><ul><li>4. Social Interaction and Integration - we use the media in order to find out more about the circumstances of other people. At the same time television may help us to get on with our real friends as we are able to talk about the media with them. </li></ul><ul><li>An easy way to remember this theory is via the use of the acronym PIES </li></ul>
  13. 14. Reception analysis <ul><li>Reception analysis is based on the idea that no text has one simple meaning. Instead, reception analysis suggests that the audience themselves help to create the meaning of the text. We all decode the texts that we encounter in individual ways which may be a result of our upbringing, the mood that we are in, the place where we are at the time or in fact any combination of these and all kinds of other factors. So I may watch a television programme and enjoy every minute of it and you may hate the same show. But of course, it goes way beyond just how much we enjoy the text. We will actually create a different meaning for it as well. </li></ul>
  14. 15. THE AUDIENCE AND THE TEXT <ul><li>Every media text is produced with the intended reader in the mind. It is important therefore that the producer considers both the; </li></ul><ul><li>Content of the text – is it suitable/appropriate for the audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Style of presentation - is it attractive to the audience and will the content be understood by them. </li></ul><ul><li>For example tabloids and broadsheets will differ in content and style. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Exercise <ul><li>Look carefully at the two different adverts and decide who you think is the </li></ul><ul><li>Target audience </li></ul><ul><li>Give reasons for your decisions </li></ul>
  16. 17. Narrative and ‘positioning’ the audience <ul><li>There are a number of ways in which a particular narrative style will tend to make the audience read a text differently. </li></ul><ul><li>Control over story knowledge is one way. We may have a bystander’s view, watching events as they unfold or we may be given extra information ( for example in thrillers we know who the murderer is). </li></ul><ul><li>First-person narration such as voice over draws us into the world of the character; inside a characters head; experiencing what the character experiences. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Stars and representatives <ul><li>Richard Dyer in his analysis of stars found that they could be categorised into the following categories. </li></ul><ul><li>Good Joe – Tom Hanks </li></ul><ul><li>Tough Guy – Jason Statham </li></ul><ul><li>Pin Up – Kiera Knightley </li></ul><ul><li>Rebel – Colin Farrell </li></ul><ul><li>Independent woman – Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman </li></ul>
  18. 23. Stars and representatives <ul><li>Stars help audiences to make sense of the narrative. A particular star usually plays a particular role and is unlikely to be killed in the first reel. </li></ul><ul><li>In terms of Barthes codes stars help us to construct the plot and may also trigger enigmas (e.g. is Hugh Grant really a villain in Bridget’s Jones Diary?) . </li></ul><ul><li>Stars also work through identification, as representing them as someone like us or perhaps someone we would like to be. </li></ul><ul><li>Star images, can also present subversive images for those groups that have been neglected by mainstream media. Groups such as gays, lesbians, women, ethnic groups have sought these images to explore their own desires that has been traditionally repressed. </li></ul>
  19. 24. Expectation and Pleasure <ul><li>Repetition </li></ul><ul><li>Audiences play an active part in media texts by demanding repetition and difference. We learn from an early age how stories are told and the narrative and genre conventions seem natural to us. </li></ul><ul><li>We reject anything that is not convincing, so we play an active role in agreeing structures and conventions. </li></ul><ul><li>Repetition of familiar conventions ensures the return of core fans. </li></ul>
  20. 25. EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT <ul><li>All texts aim to generate appropriate emotions in the audience at particular points within a text’s narrative to engage them and give them pleasure. </li></ul>
  21. 26. Targeting the audience <ul><li>Media producers need to be aware of a target audience – the ideal or preferred audience for the text they are producing. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a difference between the targeted audience and the actual audience. For example cartoons in the day may also be watched by university students. </li></ul><ul><li>Advertisers need to know their target group when placing ads on T.V, in magazines or the cinema. One of the ways to identify audience groups is to break them down statistically into 3 groups – age, gender and social class. </li></ul>
  22. 28. Targeting the audience <ul><li>Gender: the different interests of men and women are the most obvious factor in considering audiences, by advertisers. Women are still assumed to buy most grocery items, whereas technology is assumed to interest men. </li></ul><ul><li>There are still references to women’s magazines and films (chick flicks) without the same reference to men’s mags & films. </li></ul>
  23. 31. Targeting the audience <ul><li>Social class: Advertisers have not been persuaded by the ‘classless society’ in the UK. The social classes are categorised as </li></ul><ul><li>ABC1 – the middle class market </li></ul><ul><li>C2DE - the working class market </li></ul><ul><li>These categories are based on the occupational groupings developed for the govt census every ten years. </li></ul>
  24. 33. Target audience – research a tabloid and broadsheet newspaper <ul><li>Who is the target audience for these texts? </li></ul><ul><li>Justify your answers </li></ul><ul><li>Consider – stories covered, language, lay out, advertising </li></ul>
  25. 34. Targeting the audience <ul><li>Lifestyle Profiling </li></ul><ul><li>Lifestyle profiling attempts to build up a more detailed picture of groups of people united by how they behave as consumers. </li></ul>
  26. 36. Life Style Mags <ul><li>Explain the term lifestyle. </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of lifestyle do magazines such as FHM and Loaded offer their readers? </li></ul><ul><li>What are mags like Loaded back lashing against? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think the term ‘socially constructed’ means? </li></ul><ul><li>How are these mags read by their audiences? </li></ul>
  27. 38. <ul><li>The advertising agency Young and Rubican invented a successful psychographic profile known as their 4C’s Marketing Model. </li></ul>
  28. 39. <ul><li>Pyschographics This is a way of describing an audience by looking at the behaviour and personality traits of its members. Psychographics labels a particular type of person and makes an assessment about their viewing and spending habits. </li></ul>
  29. 42. <ul><li>Hierarchy of Needs An American psychologist, Abraham Maslow , suggested that we all have different layers of needs. We have to achieve certain needs before going on to the next layer. Basically we all need to be able to eat and sleep in safety before we can go on to more complex social needs, such as getting married. His Hierarchy of Needs suggests that once people have their basic needs met like housing, food, safety, shopping, technology, and a job they can then go on to satisfy successively 'higher needs' that occupy a set hierarchy or system of ranking. </li></ul>
  30. 43. Maslow’s: ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ (1943) One humanist psychologist who is constantly referred to in the study of Communication is Abraham Maslow He believed that human actions and emotional behaviours are governed by ‘motivation’. This involves fulfilling our needs. Maslow believed that you have to satisfy basic needs before you can be aware of and fulfil higher ones Justify your answers and give examples. KS5 NSD Decide which needs are most basic, which are the highest,
  31. 44. Physiological / Survival Needs Safety Needs Maslow’s: ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ (1943) Social Needs Love and Belonging Esteem Needs Self Actualisation KS5 NSD
  32. 45. Physiological / Survival Needs Safety Needs Maslow’s: ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ (1943) Social Needs Love and Belonging Esteem Needs Self Actualisation KS5 NSD