Audience theory

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Look over the basic outline of Audience theory and then answer the questions in relation to at least one theory.

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Audience theory

  1. 1. Audience Theory<br />The Effects theory<br />Effects theories look at the effects of media on the audience.<br />Studies in 1930s – 1950s suggested that the media was a powerful influence on behavioural change. This was at a time of:<br /><ul><li>Rapid increase and popularity of Television & Radio
  2. 2. Immergence of persuasion industries (advertising / propaganda)
  3. 3. Payne Fund studies done on children to assess the effects of media
  4. 4. Hitler's monopolization of the mass media during WWII</li></li></ul><li>The hypodermic Needle theory (1930-1950)<br />Or “Magic Bullet Theory”<br />The hypodermic Needle theory<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG2RIhYAbSM&feature=fvsr<br />Mass communication<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd88H_5k-rY&feature=related<br />Media is like a bullet or giant needle injecting into the thoughts and behaviours of a passive mass audience who are duped or drugged by it.<br />Example was in 1938 when H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds.” was broadcast when the programme was interrupted by a news broadcast saying the aliens had invaded a town in New Jersey creating mass hysteria among a million listeners<br />
  5. 5. LIMITED EFFECTS MODEL<br />TWO-Flow step<br />Paul Lazarsfeld (1940)<br />Lazarsfeld did a study, (The People’s Choice) which suggested that media doesn’t flow directly into the audience’s mind unmediated. <br />Dependant on an audience’s background, experiences, social factors etc. media could be filtered and interpreted.<br />Gratifications model<br />Blulmer and Katz (1974)<br />A further study by Blulmer & Katz said that audience media consumption is based on choices so that an audience will seek out media that meets their desire / need /personal preference. i.e. They are perhaps seeking media that endorses their already established views and gratify a need/desire<br /><ul><li>Diversion (escapism)
  6. 6. Relationship (using e.g. soaps to replace family life)
  7. 7. Personal Identity (finding sense of understanding self)
  8. 8. Surveillance (seeking useful information)</li></li></ul><li>Reception Theory<br />Encoding/decoding model<br />Stuart Hall (1980-1990)<br />Builds on the active audience idea and analyses the relationship between producer and audience:<br />The text is coded by the producer and decoded by the audience<br />By using recognised codes and conventions, and by drawing upon audience expectations relating to aspects such as genre and use of stars, the producers can position the audience and thus create a certain amount of agreement on what the code means. This is known as a preferred reading.<br />See http://www.mediaknowall.com/as_alevel/alevkeyconcepts/alevelkeycon.php?pageID=audience<br />For further information<br />
  9. 9. Relate audience theory to your product<br />Now you have looked at Audience Theory consider how you might apply it to your own work.<br />Using your Teaser trailer & an existing real media product (that you have based your product on) ask yourself the following questions:<br />Who is your Target Audience?<br />Why might they choose to watch your product?<br /> (i.e. what elements of your teaser trailer would appeal to them?) reflect on Blulmer & Katz’s Gratification model.<br />Are your audience active or passive viewers? (why do you think that?)<br />As producer what codes constructed (and how –technical elements) for the audience to decode?<br />

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