Audience decoding + reading

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  • audience decoding + reading
    • media products have intended meanings, but audience (decoder) may misread them as everyone has diff. social + cultural experiences
    • Stuart hall's model of mass communication
      • 1. same event can be encoded different ways
      • 2. message can be decoded different ways
      • 3. understanding message can be problematic process
    • Hall's categories of reading
      • preferred (dominant)
        • decoder accepts + shares indented meaning (conscious/ subconsciously). respond in expected way + confirm social order
      • negotiated reading
        • decoder partly accepts intended meaning but also partly resists/ modifies it to fit own views
      • Oppositional reading
        • decoder may understand intended meaning but rejects it as social position puts conflict with it
      • aberrant reading (addition to original theory)
        • decoder creates own interpretation that's entirely different to intended meaning (e.g parody)
    • open and closed texts
      • open text
        • many diff. meanings possible (encourages polysemy)
        • decoder takes active role
        • usually aesthetic/ artistic
        • e.g poem, abstract art, experimental film
      • closed text
        • single meaning indented (restricts poysemy)
        • decoder takes passive role
        • usually informational
        • e.g textbook, recipe, TV commercial, action film
      • Barthes + Eco identified text as open and closed
        • Barthes said: texts = tangle of threats that need to be unraveled. diff. meanings appear as they are unrevealed
          • however, some text need to restrict their meaning (polysemy) e.g instructions, directions


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