Time for a new audience model?

Year 13 this week applied Marxist theory and Hegemony to audiences, allowing us to revisit some audience theories (Both credited to Katz & Lazarsfeld, 1955); namely…

The Hypodermic Syringe model:

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Here audiences are ‘injected’ with representations, values & ideologies directly from institutions – such methods are used in propaganda materials, for example. Continue reading “Time for a new audience model?”

AS & A2 Recommended Media Studies Theorists

Every theorist & theory you will ever need!!


  • John Fiske – genre as ‘convenience’ for producers and audiences – this means commercial success is underpinned by the conventions of genre in terms of what audiences expect.
  • Robert Stam – there are infinite genres. Basically here, Stam is advancing an A2 concept that there is an argument that genre no longer exists and we do not have to analyse text in terms of genre.
  • Jane Feuer – genre is abstract and becoming harder to identify.
  • Henry Jenkins – genre break rules and commonly hybridizes.
  • John Hartley – genre is interpreted culturally e.g. Coronation Street or Eastenders could only be understood in terms of the conventions of UK soap operas, American television dramas tend to have a slightly different set of conventions to British television dramas.
  • Daniel Chandler – genre is too restricting and presents audiences and producers with a creative ‘straightjacket’.
  • Steve Neale – genre as repetition and difference
  • David Buckingham – genre in constant process of negotiation and change
  • Rick Altman – genre offers audiences a ‘set of pleasures’

Continue reading “AS & A2 Recommended Media Studies Theorists”

Stuart Hall 1980

Hall (1980)

About Hall:


  • Stuart Hall is a cultural theorist and he developed a theoretical model to explain the influence of television broadcasts such as advertisements and sitcoms.
  • He called this theory the encoding/decoding model.

Encoding/Decoding model:


  • Focuses on the ideological dimensions of the message production in a capitalist world.

Ideological dimensions: The ideas of an aspect of a situation.
Capitalist: When a person is taking advantage of something.


Audience code theory:


Hall looked at the role of audience positioning in the interpretation of mass media texts by difference social groups. He came up with three ways an audience may read a media text:


  1. A Dominant code – Reader fully accepts the preferred reading, the code seems natural and transparent.
  2. A Negotiated code – Reader partly believes the code ad broadly accepts the preferred reading, but sometimes modifies it in a way which reflects their own interests.
  3. An Oppositional code – Readers social position places them in an oppositional relation to the dominant code. They reject the reading.


Preferred reading: what the audiences’ are reading and what they prefer as an audience.

Example: (Glamour magazine)


Person 1 (Dominant code): Agrees with this magazine 100% and enjoys reading it.


Person 2 (Negotiated code): Enjoys reading the magazine, however she disagrees with some things within the magazine.


Person 3 (Oppositional code): Dislikes the magazine because she’s interested in different things.

Active Audience

Audiences that, rather than sitting passively in front of a TV, positively interact with what they are seeing and hearing.

The proposition is that, rather than TV doing things to audiences, audiences do things with TV.

For example, households use TV to avoid each other, or to provide family warmth.

More importantly, however, audiences turn to social media to interact with one another and influence TV institutions.