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Uses and Gratifications

Audiences use media texts for:

diversion / escapism
Personal relationships
Personal identity ­ help understand themselves
Surveillance ­ gain understanding of the world

Criticisms ­ overly simplistic, we choose what we view dependant on the material available, little control over
what we see and read

Reception Theory…

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Effects theory

Shared beliefs with Karl Marx.

Belief of the Frankfurt school that the mass media is controlled by the capitalist system, creating a mass culture
that eliminates opposition and alternatives. Hegemony of the ruling class is established through this and thus
there is less opportunity to challenge and criticise…

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Postmodernism refers to ideas about contemporary culture and society, rejecting distinctions between high and
low cultures. It embraces pluralism, combination and diversity. The belief that rules are there to be broken and
that reality is constructed by social factors.

Metanarratives ­ The stability stories within society that a culture…

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Pluralists argue against Marxism, and believe that media institutions are responsive to the direct needs and
wants of audiences rather than the other way round. They feel audiences are capable of manipulating the media
and can `conform, accommodate or reject' ideas presented to them.

Pluralists reject the idea of…

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The cult of celebrity

What was once reserved for people with high status and important roles, the democratisation of western culture
has generated a world in which anyone can be successful, even if they do not have a talent.

The Marxist view is that this deflects the proletariat away from…


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