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Reception Theory

(2 of 4) for help with U6: Critical Thinker LO3 + U26: Film Studies LO1

Scott Hayden

on 16 September 2018

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Transcript of Reception Theory


The reading media producers hope we will take from the text

The ‘third way’ is one in which audiences acknowledge the preferred reading, but modify it to suit their own values and opinions.

Audiences from outside the target audience may oppose or reject the preferred reading, receiving their own alternative message.
To give a text an "Author" and assign a single, corresponding interpretation to it "is to impose a limit on that text.
Hello there, I'm Stuart Hall and I believe that the media appear to reflect reality whilst in fact they construct it.
In 'Encoding/Decoding', Hall (1980) argued that the dominant ideology is typically inscribed as the 'preferred reading' in a media text, but that this is not automatically adopted by readers.
Hall argued that a game, article, film (or any ‘text’) is not simply passively accepted by the audience.

Instead, Hall believed that the viewer interprets the meanings of the text based on their individual cultural background and life experiences.
Hall focused on the scope for "negotiation" and "opposition" on the part of the audience.

In essence, the meaning of a text is not inherent within a media text itself, but is created within the relationship between the media text and the viewer.
Hall believed that our social situations lead us to adopt different stances.
Dominant reading

This is when you fully share and agree with the media codes and accept and reproduce the preferred meaning.

In such a stance the code seems ‘natural’ and ‘transparent'
'Negotiated' readings are produced by those who adjust/ modify the 'preferred' reading to take account of their social position and see it their own way
Negotiated reading

The reader partly shares the texts code and broadly accepts the Dominant/ preferred reading, but sometimes resists and modifies it in a way which reflects their own position, experiences and interests

This position can involve contradictions
'Oppositional' readings are produced by those whose social position puts them into direct conflict with the preferred reading
Oppositional reading

The reader, whose social situation places them in a directly oppositional relation to the dominant code, understands the preferred reading but does not share the texts codes and rejects this reading, bringing to bear an alternative frame of reference (Radical, Feminist, Marxist etc)

In groups of three you will now film a sketch that demonstrates an understanding of Hall's 'Reception Theory'.

You need to show the different reactions that Hall believed we have to the media.

Using a camera you need to apply the theory to examples.

RESOURCE MANAGER - Gather/ return all equipment)
TEAM REP - Check in with me for updates
TIME-KEEPER - You have 30 mins to film the sketch
To understand and apply the Reception Analysis Theory that will appear in your Assignment
Hall would argue that what you currently have a preferred/ dominant reading of the media you posted about in the Classroom.


= Preferred/ Dominant Reading
= Negotiated Reading
= Oppositional Reading

Hold up the card that signifies your thoughts of the following
We all see things through the prism of our own self

For example, I love the following....
Hall's theory argues that there are three ways to 'read a text'....
Roland Barthes
What media do you dislike?

Please post in the Classroom steam and begin the sentence...'I have an oppositional view to...'
•Understood and applied Hall’s RECEPTION ANALYSIS theory to a media example

•Worked to a deadline in a team to capture video evidence of your understanding of Dominant, Negotiated, and Oppositional Reading

EXTENSION = To be able to contribute professional comments to at least two Twitter discussions
You may have a different reaction to it than me
Reader thinks opposite to what the media producer wants them to think
PASSIVE - accept messages/ nod along/ docile

ACTIVE - gets involved/ engages with text/ can be critical

Univocal - one voice/ one meaning
What media do you have mixed/ conflicted feelings about?

Please begin the sentence...'I have a negotiated view to...'

Please go to Classroom.

1. Give me example of when you have seen an audience be passive
2. Give me an example of when you have seen an audience be active

Please share something in the Classroom (as a post) that you are in to right now.

Let's see if Hall has a point about our social situation shaping our tastes
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