Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Audience Theory A Level Media Studies.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Audience Theory A Level Media Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Audience Theory A Level Media Studies

2 Most audience theory focuses on two questions..
How powerful are the media in influencing the ideas and behaviour of the audience? And… How does the media shape an audience’s perception of the world? Audience theories suggest that representations are open to different interpretations and that their meanings are not fixed.

3 Consumption of media There are different ways of consuming media texts… Primary media (texts demand close and concentrated attention from audience, eg. Films in cinemas) Secondary media (texts provide a background for an audience who are often doing something else at the same time and are distracted, eg. Radio and some TV programmes) Tertiary media (texts that are consumed by audiences who are almost unaware of their own engagement with the media, eg. Advertising or radio stations broadcasting in shops)

4 Market-Liberalism Perspective Political-Economy Perspective
Stresses power of AUDIENCE over media producers Stresses the power of PRODUCERS over media audiences Market-Liberalism Perspective Political-Economy Perspective Audience research and pre-testing Media is produced to appeal to advertisers Audience preference decides what media texts are produced The power of media organisations are open to abuse - promoting political parties etc

Information is unmediated HYPODERMIC NEEDLE MODEL Also called the ‘limited effects paradigm’ TWO STEP FLOW MODEL Dating from 1920s Passive audience Social effects are important in the way audiences consume texts Blumler and Katz 1974 Stuart Hall’s Encoding/Decoding model USES AND GRATIFICATIONS THEORY RECEPTION THEORY Texts have preferred meaning Audiences consume texts for different reasons and in different ways

6 Passive audiences Effects Theory Some commentators see the media as a sinister and insidious force. The Frankfurt School (Adorno and Horkheimer) – a group of Marxist intellectuals developed a critique of the mass media after expressing horror at the success of Nazi Germany propaganda. They argued the media had considerable power over the behaviour and beliefs of the audience. The passive audience soak up the empty promises of mass entertainment, becoming willing victims who both produce and consume the products of consumer capitalism. The audience are powerless to resist the effects of media messages.

7 The two step flow model Katz and Lazarsfeld Reception in which media messages are mediated by others – ‘opinion leaders’. US presidential campaign 1940 Our opinion can form or develop based on what others have to say. Importance of word of mouth

8 Encoding/decoding Stuart Hall drew upon the Gramscian hegemony theory in developing the encoding/decoding model. He wanted to focus on how dominant ideological messages can be resisted or reinterpreted by audience members. At the encoding stage, the producers of texts create messages (codes) which they expect their viewers/readers to understand. When the audience come in contact with the text, we decode the messages to create meaning. Fundamentally, media messages are POLYSEMIC – they contain numerous possible interpretations. However, we can be steered towards a preferred reading of a text.

9 Stuart Hall Preferred, Negotiated and Oppositional readings of media texts For example…

10 McDonalds want you to think....

11 You may agree Or..... You may disagree

12 Or..... You may think that big macs do taste good, but I’ll only have them every now and again

13 So here we have three separate readings of that one advert

14 In 1980 David Morley did a study of audience responses when watching the BBC TV show Spotlight. As a result of his research, he decided that audiences tend to fall into three groups based on their interpretation of the text..... Preferred Reading Negotiated Reading Oppositional Reading

15 The preferred reading is the reading media producers hope audiences will take from the text.

16 receiving their own alternative message.
Audience members from outside the target audience may reject the preferred reading, receiving their own alternative message.

17 suit their own values and opinions.
Negotiated reading is when audiences acknowledge the preferred reading, but modify it to suit their own values and opinions.

18 What is the PREFERRED reading?
The NEGOCIATED reading? The OPPOSITIONAL reading?

19 Active audiences The Uses and Gratifications Theory
The audience has a set of needs (Blumler and Katz 1975) Diversion Integration & Social Interaction Personal identity Surveillance/Information We use the media to gratify our needs. We actively seek out media products that we really want. Links with liberal-pluralist perspectives (consumers hold the power over producers)

20 Coronation Street viewers are individuals who are motivated by different impulses
A need for company To combat loneliness – allows audience to perceive themselves to be part of an IMAGINED COMMUNITY The need to be part of a group The need to identify with characters and scenarios The need for structure and order – offers a reassuring routine Relaxation

21 Uses and gratifications
1) SURVEILLANCE/INFORMATION We want to find out about society and the world.

Companionship through identification with television characters We want to find out more about the circumstances of other people so we can empathise/sympathise with the lives of others. Sociability through discussion about television with other people.

3) PERSONAL IDENTITY Finding reinforcement for personal values. Identifying with a valued other in the media. Gaining insight into one’s self.

24 Gratification 4) DIVERSION
We use the media for enjoyment, relaxation or just to fill time.

25 What uses and gratifications do the above offer their audiences?

26 New media – the internet
utopian dystopian The internet user is savvy, well informed and creative Distinctions between production and reception are blurred Online communities allow audiences to interact with each other and producers Active Studies of internet users have shown an unequal distribution in terms of gender, age, ethnicity and social class. There are increasing levels of corporate domination – big companies exploit the potential for making money from users. Levels of control and surveillance inhibit the autonomy and creativity once associated with the internet.

Download ppt "Audience Theory A Level Media Studies."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google