Week four- From Audiences to Users ---CS 100
Oct 5 2012
Final exam Thursday December 6th 2012 7pm
What is an audience?
Audiences are not given but are social constructs:
Roots of the term come from being within hearing, but modern audiences are rarely in
the same place
Conceptions of audiences are often grounded in particular contexts (industry,
government, scholarly research)
Mass media audiences are theoretical constructs as much empirical realities
Audience are a mental construct (ways of thinking of groups of people)
Audiences change with media, also different contexts pay attention to different ways that
people use and consume media:
Government: audiences as citizens, members of the nation, bearers of collective and
Industry: audiences as receptive consumers, of media or other commodities
-what do people consume, what matters about the people.
Research: audiences as a social formation, a way of describing how people behave in
relation to media
-ex. how does video game play affect family relationships?
Groups of citizens that have rights, that need to be educated and protected
Government isn’t interested in how big the audience is but rather if the content didn’t
portray any nudity, discrimination etc.
Audience studies and attention- the biggest question for many interested in audiences is: what effect do
media have on audiences? There are several ways of answering this question:
First, this is fundamentally a question about attention and individual agency
Sustained and focused practice or a “brief encounter” (Wagman)
Do individuals freely interpret media or are meanings imposed on them?
Audience studies and theories of attention
Norms and beliefs are internalized through repeated exposure (cultivation) Audience members are relatively passive, receiving rather than interpreting media messages
Proponents have used it to study body