BrettI13: TV & Active Audiences

posted on 27 Nov 2012 00:41 by uncommon-nonsense in brett

TV & Active Audience



Reception Studies --> study of how audiences engage with, read, & make us of media text


Media Effect Theory

  aka. Hypodermic needle theory/Magic Bullet Theory

media has dirt effect, immediate & powerful

transmit reconstituted meanings in an unidirectional fashion



Limitations of Traditional media effects theory

assumes the audience is singular & passive

assumes media-audience relationship is one-way

largely pessimistic & tend to focus on negative effects

abstracts both the media & audience from their complex real-world context



Stuart Hall: encoding/decoding Model of reception

encode: codified organisation of text in order to produce certain meaning

decode: codified reception & interpretation of text in actual context




3 Modalities of Decoding/Reception

Dominant: uses & operates inside dominant codes

Negotiated: accepts some dominant codes but resist others

Oppositional: rejects dominant & substitutes alternative codes



TV texts are capable of generating diverse decodings or reading, regardless of their apparent encoded meanings

textual meaning are never immanent


Readings are shaped equally by textual & contextual  (or intra-textual and extra-textual) determinants

moves from vertical to horizontal model of determination


Text               Text <-----> Viewer







TV viewer plays an active role in process of meaning production

  --> the viewer is not a 'cultural dope' : Hall

Activity of active viewer isn't intentional or even conscious

  but effects of social, cultural, and historical positioning & divergent codes that these positioning provide



Fandoms or Fan Cultures

Fans explicate & intensify the implicit logics of active reception

-dynamic and agential

-interactive & participatory


-resistant & potentially transgressive

Fiske: "guerrilla semiotic warfare"

"Fans are cultural bricoleurs" 

Bricolage:  appropriating & recombining according to personal need

Fandoms function as mediated "identity workshop"



Teen Fandoms

  fandoms assume a relative intensity in teen culture

often disparaged (age, gender,)

teen randoms perform valuable work

individual identity validation

personal expression & creativity

group bonding 

social empowerment



Fandom as participatory culture --> Henry Jenkins (1958)

Readers as poachers: conduct raids on dominant culture (Michael de Certeau)



Culture as Power Struggle


  structural operations of dominant power



  myriad ways that ordinary people resist or evade domination

  "the art of the weak"


Fandoms enact a power struggle over the origin (authorship) & possession of textual meaning



Gay/Lesbian/Queer Fandom

exercise form of grassroots cultural politics which powerfully reflects their interest in media & their own ideological stakes, Henry Jenkins

Slash - form of fan fiction that eroticizes relations between same-sex characters





TV reception traditionally theorised term of media effect which is limited approach 

Cult stud --> en&decode model --> more dynamics

textual content & address determine reception in simple ways

stress diversity & activity of audience

fandom = fruitful example of audience agency & creativity

edit @ 27 Nov 2012 01:11:38 by uncommon-nonsense