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MDSA01H3 (326)
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University of Toronto Scarborough
Media Studies
Ted Petit

CH.10 Reception Analysis - Reception theory – which stresses audience interpretation as the primary site of meaning making , meaning is fluid and communication is imperfect within this perspective and negotiation b/w media producers and consumers constantly skew the true meaning of media texts - Messages don’t mean the same thing to everyone and the audience does not passively absorb any and all media messages - Hypodermic needle approach – this research tradition was predominately interested in outlining how the mass media “injected” particular meanings into consumers- here researchers assumed that media messages signified only exactly what producers intended them to mean - The weakness of this approach – messages do not mean the same thing to every person and the audience does not passively absorb any and all media messages - Two step model – positioned that certain individuals in the audience attended more carefully to media than others - Mass media messages would influence these individuals who would in turn disseminate the info to secondary audiences - This theory is problematic as it assumes the message is clear and definite - Cultivation analysis (proposed by George Gerber) – claims that individuals who watch heavy amounts of television are hyperconscious to issues of danger and violence in everyday lives, his theory claims that heavy viewing audiences develop a distorted view of reality and believe that violence is more prevalent in society - Media agenda setting (proposed by Donald and Maxwell) - claims that popular media outlets like news stations tell the American public what to think and how to think about it - Uses and gratifications theory – assumes that individuals consciously consume media texts for their own ends purposefully reworking textual meaning in order to integrate the text into their daily life so instead of passively absorbing given meanings audiences are selective - Sometimes audiences may engage in media as a means of escapism , as a source of info or interpersonal relationships - Reception theory – claims that while consciousness may be a factor for some individual consumers, audience members as a whole can refashion dominant media meanings w/o being completely cognizant of the process Encoding and decoding - Code – is a set of rules that govern the use of visual and linguistic signs within a culture (e.g. Morse code, or the English language itself) - Any image or word we can comprehend is the result of a code - Codes are never neutral in the sense that they are always representations of meaning, not meaning itself and they reflect the partiality inherent to an representation - Encoding – is the process of creating a meaningful message according to particular code - Decoding – is the process of using a code to decipher a message and formulate meaning - when media
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