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Chapter 10.pdf

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Media Studies
Michael Petit

Chapter 10: ReceptionAnalysis – reception analysis = personal meanings that individuals make of mass media texts in relation to their lived social systems and experiences – “active audience” = constantly reformulating the meanings of a media text (across lines of race / class / gender / sexuality) – Reception Theory = stresses audience interpretation as the primary site of meaning making – negotiation between producers + consumers = skews the true meaning of media texts – media owners = economic power to craft media texts with particular messages – audiences = determine what a text ultimately signifies / how it actually functions in their own lives ClassicAudience Studies and Media Effects Research Hypodermic NeedleApproach – hypodermic needle approach = outlining how the mass media “injected” particular meanings into consumers – assumed = media messages signified only exactly what producers intended them to mean (audiences unable to ignore / negotiate) – weakness = messages do not mean the same thing to every person (does not just passively absorb messages) Two-Step Flow Model – certain individuals in the audience attended more carefully to media than others (opinion leaders) – secondary audiences = mass media messages would influence them and they would disseminate the information – notion = media messages are clear and definite CultivationAnalysis – individuals who watch heavy amounts television are are hyperconscious to issues of danger and violence in their everyday life MediaAgenda-Setting – popular media outlets (news stations) tell the public what to think about + how to think about it – they fuel national agenda and fuel public concern – audience = mindless consumers who believe and follow most of what they see in the media Gratifications Theory – audiences = empowered to select their access to specific media + consciously consume media for their own ends, rework meaning in order to integrate it into their daily lives – selective = in which media they consume and how they choose to use it – engage media = means of escapism + source of information + form of interpersonal relationships – audience use the media (not: the media uses audiences) Encoding / Decoding: Stuart Hall Stuart Hall: Encoding / Decoding Model – outlines = all of the possible ways in which the intended meaning of a text can be potentially reworked in the hands of an active audience – Code = set of rules that govern the use of visual + linguistic signs (within a culture) – are = representations of meaning (not meaning itself) – lead to certain ways of seeing the world (compel us to interpret the world according to rules of the code) – i.e. Popular codes (morse code) / English language vs. Sign language vs. Pictures – Encoding = process of creating meaningful messages according to a particular code – Decoding = process of using a code to decipher a message and formulate meaning – encoding may not be perfectly symmetrical – Left Hand Encoding Side – how dominant ideologies come to exist in mass-media messages – codes that media industries must use to create texts that are marked by hegemonic ideologies – media producers encode media texts = shape the representations of race / gender – resulting meaning = preferred meaning: desired interpretation of race / gender = reinforces inequalities / benefits industry – i.e. Industry codes = stereotypical understandings (race + gender) – Right Hand Encoding Side – how audiences can actually interpret media texts – “Dominant Media Position” = code identical to industry code (understand the text by its preferred meaning) – consciously / unconsciously = accept it as true – “perfectly transparent” = both parties using the same code – “Oppositional Reading” = audiences recognize the preferred reading + dominant code / reject them in favour of a different meaning – “Negotiated Position” = decode part of the text in accordance with the industry meanin
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