Active Audience Theory
- Several factors contribute to te emergence of active audience theory:
o End of WWII. In the post-war context, there is less immediate concern
about the ‘effects’ of propaganda
o Culture industries- advertising, tellevisionm populat music, celebrity
culture- exploe in the 50s and 60s.
o Rise of the “culture commodity”: new forms of entertainment besed
consumption. The commodity takes the form od an experience rather
than something material that is bought and sold.
3 AA theories:
1. Encosing/decoding and the Nationwide Audience
2. The Practice of Everyday life
3. Understanding Popular culture
- Each writer proposes a ‘ two-way relationship between audiences and texts
whereby readers can reist, engage with and create their own meaning from
the culture they receive from above.
Key Question: Do small acts of audience resistance to texts created by the ‘culture
industry’ make a difference or matter?
Resistance? Or another cog in the culture industry
- On the cover of Rolling Stone yet wearing a shirt saying “corporate
magazines still sucks”
- Is he resisting or is he endorsing the culture industry
Stuart Hall and the Birmingham School
- 60s and 70s in Britan, a group of academics found the Birmingham Centre for
Contemporary Culture Studies where they begin to develop new methods of
- Hall, now a widely respected cultural theorist, becomes the Directos of the
Centre in 68
- He proposes a new audience theory that contrasts with the passive SEE
Encoding and Decoding
- Halls key poing is that a media message has NO effect