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Communication Studies
Hayward T

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 individual rights  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 Media Effects:  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
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