Audience theory

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Audience theory by Mind Map: Audience theory

1. Hypodermic needle model • Developed by Frankfurt school of academics (Adorno and Horkheimer) • They worked in Germany in 1930s and were influenced by the success of Nazi propaganda • The media injects its message directly into the audience • This model sees the audience as passive • Mass audience model • The audience will automatically react to the mass media e.g. radio and television

1.1. • An example of this theory is on October 30th 1938 when there was a radio broadcast of War of the worlds was interjected with a news bulletin saying that there was an Alien invasion. About 1 million people had believed this message; this has caused problems like caused traffic jam etc. The effect of the broadcast suggested the media can manipulate the passive audience. • There is no escape from the effect of the message in this model. People are seen as passive and end up thinking what they are told because there is no other source of information. This shows that audience is powerless.

2. Uses and Gratifications model • Blumler and Katz • This model suggest that audience have expectations which they expect to be satisfied by the media texts • The audience needs are: - Surveillance: telling us about the world around us - Personal identity: influences how we see ourselves and our place in society - Personal relationships; develop relationships with media characters; aids social interactions - Diversions: provides escapism from daily life

3. Encoding and Decoding • Stuart hall • The preferred reading of the text is encoded using technologies and conventions of the medium • Audience members will respond to the text in different ways • The possible positions are: - Dominant : the reader shares the text’s code and accepts its preferred reading - Negotiated: understand the text’s code, generally accepts the preferred reading but modifies it according to their social position and experience - Oppositional: understanding the code but rejects the preferred reading. The audience member will be reading the text from an oppositional position - Aberrant reading: the audience don’t understand the media text

4. Social and cultural context • Reception theory - the politics of the living room • The meaning of the text will be constructed differently depending on the audience member’s position in society • Differences based on things like social class, gender, and ethnicity, may determine an individual’s cultural tastes • People from different social groups will have knowledge of the code of different media text

5. Two step flow The two step flow believes that the audience are passive but some are active audience. Also the audience are controlled by the opinion leaders for example the Beckham family. This is because they are famous celebrity family people will react to them and follow every step they make by buying their perfumes, their clothes etc.