Media Studies - Audience

Definition of audience
Group and/or individuals who consume a form of media text.
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What are the academic theories?
Audience split between active + passive.
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What are the characteristics of a passive audience?
Mass culturalists believe that they are easily manipulated, complaint, weak-willed, followers.
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What are the characteristics of an active audience?
Modern people believe that they are engaged, involved, responsive, in control, free-willed.
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Why do arguments blame media texts?
Say that they influence them. E.g. Teletubbies - dumb children down, Child's Play 3 - Jamie Buldger Case.
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What are passive audience from a mct pov?
Theory first developed in 1930's. All audience members react in same way. All passively receive messages. Audiences are manipulated. Media affects thoughts and behaviours.
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What is a passive audience?
Audience that does not engage actively with text. More likely to accept preferred meanings of text. Directly affected by messages contained within a text.
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Who is Stuart Hall?
Theorist. First to theorise audiences as active rather than passive. 'Invented' cultural studies as an academic subject. Developed 'reception theory'.
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What is the reception theory?
Suggests texts are encoded by their producers + decoded differently by different audiences.
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What are the readings of a text?
Preferred reading, negotiated reading, oppositional reading
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What is the preferred reading of a text?
Text accepted of the meaning that the text producer has intended. Passive audiences are likely to accept this. e.g. readers of the Daily Mail.
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What is the negotiated reading of a text?
Audience accepts some of the text + disagrees with the rest. e.g. Cosmo magazine for fashion but does not accept the sexual content.
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What is the oppositional reading of a text?
Audience does not agree with ideology + context of text. Related to age, sex, culture, gender. e.g. older audiences watching the The Inbetweeners may be thoroughly against its content.
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Why do audiences respond in different ways?
Gender, age, cultural compentence (e.g certain media forms such as boys + games), ethnicity, situated culture (where + when consuming media text).
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What is Psychological Profiling? (demographic audience)
'Labelling' people into 'types' is fairly inaccurate as misses individual tastes + interests. But used system for years so has some validility.
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What is group A of pp?
Lawyers, doctors, scientists, well paid professionals. Stereotypical mt: news, radio 4, documentaries, papers.
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What is group B of pp?
Teachers, middle management, fairly well paid professionals. Stereotypical mt: group a, BBC shows, series'.
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What is group C1 of pp?
Junior management, bank clerks, nurses, 'white collar' professions. Stereotypical mt: similar to B + soaps.
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What is group C2 of pp?
Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, 'blue collar' professions. Stereotypical mt: sports, radio, The Sun
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What is group D of pp?
Manual workers, drivers, post sorters. Stereotypical mt: soaps, radios like Capital, comedies, The Sun, reality TV.
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What us group E of pp?
Students, unemployed, pensioners. Stereotypical mt: reality tv, soaps, Capital, social media.
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Why do we have audiences?
To consume different types of media texts.
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How has the advance of technology effected audiences?
Broadened how people consume media texts. But affected how many audiences get it. e.g. elderly people may not be able to revive the media text on a smartphone. Instead of reading the news on here they may read a newspaper or listen to a radio.
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What different types of audiences are there?
Niche - smaller audiences e.g. may select a bird or gardening magazine. Mass - bigger audience e.g. Facebook
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How do media texts target/appeal to audiences?
Technical + audio codes, language + mode of address, construction, context, positioning of the audience
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How do technical + audio codes target/appeal to an audience?
Trailer - fast pace editing, music on trailers to attract audiences. Bright colours on gossip magazine etc.
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How does language + mode of address target/appeal to an audience?
e.g. CoD games may use a lexis targeted at young men.
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How does construction target/appeal to an audience?
Construction of text + the audience within the text. Factors in text deliberately appeal to the target audience. Magazine cover: images, straplines, colours etc.
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How does context target/appeal to an audience?
Placing of the media text. e.g. beer advertisement during a football match, debt advice during Jeremy Kyle etc.
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How does positioning of the audience target/appeal to the audience?
Through camera angles, shots, music etc. Emphasises with character.
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What are audience pleasures?
Why audiences like programmes. Principal reason for viewing TV programmes is to hope for an enjoyable + rewarding experience. Different types of enjoyment can overlap.
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What is disruptive pleasure?
Delight of throwing away the rules + being out of control. Behaving with no inhibitions or prohibition. e.g. Family Guy, Celebrity Juice.
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What is vicarious pleasure?
Enjoyed through experience of others - at least not happening to us (the audience). Triumphs + tragedies. e.g. The Island with Bear Grylls, Hunted.
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What is voyeuristic pleasure?
Satisfaction gained from spying, prying + knowing something unknown to others. Television drama with crime or sex scenes. e.g. Geordie Shore, Love Island. Reality TV with fixed cameras that some if the "characters" don't know about, that you do
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What is visceral pleasure?
Physical response rather than an intellectual response. Makes you want to cry, laugh, shout at the television (all the emotions). e.g. Corrie: makes you cry when a main character you've made a connection with dies.
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What is aesthetic pleasure?
Appreciation of something beautiful or exquisite: 1.Satisfaction with the visual information on screen e.g. The Natural World, Autumn Watch. 2. Cerebral (intellectual) gratification derived from the perfect construction of narrative: BBC Sherlock
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What is the uses + gratification theory?
Suggests that audiences are not a mass audience + not all passive. Suggests that see out + use fife rent media texts to satisfy a need + experience different pleasures.
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What is entertainment + diversion in the ugt?
Audiences escape from pressures of everyday life. Audiences do not have to experience literal reality but can equally become involved in a story world. Offers escapism.
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What is information + education in the ugt?
Texts consumed by audiences that want to know what is going on in the world. Audience access parts of the world they are highly unlikely to visit themselves. News programmes + newspapers inform about current affairs.
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What is social interaction in the ugt?
Media texts 'of the moment' are discussed by the audience as they happen (wct). Audiences watch + then use the experience to talk to others. Audience response is immediate + involved. Essential to keep up to date with the programme. e.g. The X Factor
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What is personal identity in the ugt?
Audiences will gain pleasure from some media texts. Able to compare to their lives + circumstances. e.g. Soap Operas. Narratives tend to focus on relationships + social issues. Audience can emphasise with particular character in situation.
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What is Maslow's hierarchy of needs?
Everything we need to function as a human being - without physiological needs cant move up the pyramid. In media - producers reach out to particular audiences who have those needs - response + satisfaction is provoked.
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What are the factors of the mhon?
Self-actulization - esteem - love/belonging - phycological
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What is water cooler television?
American term - first arrived in UK as Big Brother first hit our TV screens. Describes immediate audience response - next morning people are talking about it around the 'water cooler' - look at what happened in a particular programme the night before
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What is the hypodermic needle model?
Largely outdated effects theory. Suggest audience are a mass + behave in same way in responses to a media text. Media texts inject ideas into mind of assumes passive audiences - who respond as one. e.g. violent media texts - influence their audiences
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Card 2


What are the academic theories?


Audience split between active + passive.

Card 3


What are the characteristics of a passive audience?


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Card 4


What are the characteristics of an active audience?


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Card 5


Why do arguments blame media texts?


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