brettI12: TV & Modes of Address

posted on 27 Nov 2012 00:05 by uncommon-nonsense in brett


Week 12: TV's Modes of Address



How a text or cultural form 'speaks' to its audience & by so doing, shapes identification & interpretation

is not always explicit, frequently implicit

content (subj. material)

form/style (language rhetoric)

ideology (belief)


Adresser/Adressee are discursive positions: not same as real people

real reader v implied reader

empirical v model

flesh & blood v idea/pretend

audience v spectator/viewer


Address is plural and shifting

one text will often be the site of competing modes of address


TV is typified predominantly by an enunciative regime of direct address


Emile Benveniste (1902-1976)

discourse :  direct (1st/2nd person) i you we

histoire : indirect (3rd person) he she it


works to personalised TV & its discourse

establish an intimate discursive exchange "para-social interaction" (virtual interaction)


illusion of interpersonal relationship or "simulated domestic conversation"

TV creates the illusion waa they are trying to communicate with us personally

talking ppl & domestic props, half circles shit



Cult of Domesticated "Personalities"

-ความเข้าถึงได้,  ธรรมดาสามัญ ordinary 

-endows TV with a strong degree of familiarity, credibility & dependability



Tv claims to social & discursive authority are grounded in its domestic ordinariness & regularity

---> provide sense of dependability that "guide us through"


TV discursive authority is further endorsed by its "liveness"

TV foster sense of immediacy: coming to us direct & unmediated, in "real time"

Helps create a sense of community or shared identification structure of discursive "we-don"


Address as mechanism of ideology = Louise Althusser (1918-1990)

ideology = imagery relation : real relation


Interpellation (hailiing)

the process by which ideology constitute subjectivity (identity) through address

all ideology hails/interpellates concrete individual as concrete subject

individual => subject

TV address us through - thus interpellaltes us - into ideological categories

such as: -the family (nuclear, heterosexual, bourgeois

-national/regional identity 

Benedict Anderson

nation as "imagined community"

discursive & mediated fiction of social identity

-national interpellation: language, food, clothes, education, ritual


Mass Media: a vital site & agent of national interpellation

Today: TV = central mediu mof nationalism

addressing us as member of national public

provides ritual of communal national identification








The Public Sphere

the realm of public discourse and debate in which citizens can discuss issues of common concern in a free and democratic manner


Jurgen Habermas

structural transformation of the public sphere

-rise of new liberal public sphere with modernity

-separate from state & church

-arena for free political debate

-vital agency of liberal deliberative democracy

-manifest in C18th - C19th in coffee houses, salons, town meetings, etc.

-linked to rise of mass print media


historically, the public sphere has become increasingly "mediated"

today the public sphere is a wholly discursive construct

TV produce & reproduce a range of public sphere and identities


Broadcasting --> narrowcasting

Network --> multichanneling

unity --> fragmentation

consensus --> difference


To work effectively, the Public Sphere has to possess core qualities:

-freedom of information & access

-free from outside inteference & control

-diversity of viewpoints & equal representation

-space for civil discussion & debate