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Stuart Hall Reception Theory (1980)

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Louise Hudson

on 17 January 2014

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Transcript of Stuart Hall Reception Theory (1980)

The Studying of Semiotics
Stuart Hall claimed that media texts go through stages of encoding and decoding. this theory states that media texts are encoded by the producer and that the texts contain only the ideologies of the people who made the media text. Decoding is when an audience views the text and interprets their own ideologies into the text. Not all audiences will respond in the same way, and in some cases, not how the producer intended. A example of this could be Miley Cyrus and her world famous video 'We Can't Stop'. The video was produced by the producer to make people forget about the Hannah Montanna girl, and create the new Miley Cyrus, but when it was decoded by the audience, the reaction was that she was 'slutty' and 'disgraceful' in most peoples views, but again, not all of the audience will interpret the video in that way.
What is this theory?
The theory is an active audience theory which sees the audience as being actively engaged in the interpretation of media texts, rather than passive consumers. The idea is that individuals interpret texts in different ways. It demonstrates that even though one message is sent out, that not one understanding is received.
Understanding encoding and decoding
When a producer creates a text it is encoded with a meaning or message that they want to convey to a mass audience. This is called preferred reading. Sometimes the producer can encode a message that is not correctly understood by an audience making the message noneffective.
How the audience take the meaning
Numerous factors add to whether we take the dominant, oppositional or negotiated reading. The areas are as follows:
- Life experience
- Mood at time of viewing
- Age
- Culture
- Beliefs
- Gender

All these factors have an effect on how we as individuals decode a media text.
My Music Video
Stuart Hall's theory can be related to my music video on how will my audience decode my video? How will they react? It all depends on the factors of the individual.
How
WILL
it be viewed?
The dominant readers of my music video will understand the meaning of it, and agree with the message that my video puts across. The negotiated readers will agree with the message of my video, but probablly will not agree with the way that I have displayed it in my music video. The oppositional readers will disagree with my video and feel that it does not relate to them in any way possible.
Stuart Hall
Reception Theory (1980)

Audience Types
Hall included three different types of audiences decoding of text:
- Dominant or preferred
- Negotiated
- Oppositional
How do I want it to be viewed?
I want my music video to be viewed as something that teenage girls can relate to, not in the fact that we all have imaginary boyfriends, but in the way that a perfect man isn't possible, and that there is no point in sitting around and waiting for him because he won't come. I wanted a message to be sent across to my audience telling them to be happy with who they are and what they have got, don't waste time on boys.
Take this image of celebrity model Abbey Clancy. The dress she is wearing is extremely revealing but individuals will interpret this look in different ways. Some people would view her as being pretty, but others would view her as being attention seeking.
DOMINANT
- How the producer wants the audience to view the media text they agree with the message is it conveying.
NEGOTIATED
- A compromise between the dominant and oppositional readings, the audience understand and agree with the text but disagree with other areas they have their own views on.
OPPOSITIONAL
- The audience rejects the encoded meaning and creates their own meaning for the text, they fully disagree with the message being submitted.
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