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Audience theories

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Gary Keller

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of Audience theories

Needle theory People commit violence because of all the violence on TV and in computer games. If we didn't allow violence in computer games and on TV children wouldn't hurt each other or grow up to be violent. The Hypodermic Needle Theory This model suggests that audiences passively absorb the content of media texts.

According to this model there is a direct correlation between the content of TV, video games etc. and the behaviours and values of audiences. Modern anti-social and criminal behaviour can be largely attributed to the influence of the media. Is the media to blame? The London riots The Columbine massacre Psychologists (Bandura, Ross and Ross) have carried out experiments that claim to verify the cause and effect relationship between the media and the behaviour of audiences. Bandura's experiments (1961) involved showing small children a recording of a young woman behaving violently towards a Bobo doll and observing their subsequent behaviour toward a similar doll. To what extent do you agree? McCabe and Martin argue that imitations of violence was a likely outcome of media violence due to the common representations of such behaviour as heroic.

This convinces children that under some circumstances the normal social rules applying to violence can be suspended - this is known as 'disinhibition effect'. Hypodermic model recap Briefly explain what is meant by hypodermic needle model
Give two contemporary examples of media violence to illustrate this model
How do McCabe and Martin's research support this?
How does Bandura's research support this model? What about a causal link between fashion models and the way that young girls perceive their own bodies? Can you come up with arguments against the hypodermic model? Blumler and Katz
Uses and Gratifications
(1974) The uses and gratifications theory puts emphasis on the audience as active participants in a relationship between media and audience, rather than a passive, message absorbing, sponge. Media Audience In the uses and gratifications theory the audience seeks out interactions with the media to fulfill a particular need.

For instance, in social situations people might feel more comfortable if they have certain facts and information about particular events to fuel conversation. By seeking out media the need to be informed is fulfilled.

What kinds of texts might filfill this need? Gauntlett (2008) suggests that people, particularly children, do not behave the same under laboratory conditions as they would do in their natural environment - children, for instance, generally have their media interactions monitored/controlled by their parents. Moment of encoding Moment of text Moment of decoding Stuart Hall Reception theory Stuart Hall believed that the emphasis in the making of meaning did not belong with the text, but with the consumer. From here To here Reception theory Preferred Negotiated Oppositional There are 4 categories for uses and gratifications: Escapism Entertainment and diversion. Pleasure of the text is being transported into the world of the film and forget about daily life. Identification usually through empathy with the main character, through the positioning of the camera, making him/her central to almost every shot. We know it is their story, so we care what happens to them and we follow them. Social interaction and personal relationships - discussing the texts with others at work, or at home or on facebook - participating in social experience of audience responses. Surveillance for information and education - to find out about an issue, perhaps vicariously through someone else's experience - that you would not otherwise get an opportunity to experience. How do you use media texts? For any or all of these reasons? Can you think of examples of specific texts that you use for any of these reasons? Uses and gratifications Surveillance Social interaction Escapism Identification Why is this important? ANDREW KEEN: 'There will be over five hundred million blogs by 2010, collectively corrupting and confusing popular opinion about everything from politics to commerce to arts and culture. Blogs have become so dizzyingly infinite that they've undermined our sense of what is true and false...' Citizen Journalism? Wikipedia Charles Leadbeater If we can't trust social media won't that make all readings of this media oppositional?
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