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Lecture 9

FS280 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Reception Theory

2 pages66 viewsFall 2016

Film Studies
Course Code
Sandra Annett

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The Audience in Theory:
Decoding Stuart Halls
Structuralism :
A scholarly movement popular in European philosophy and literary/film scholars in the
Looks at how human culture and society are structured by language, using a linguistic
Based on the ideas of linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913)
Signs are everywhere
The spoken word
Actual signal (washroom signs)
Parts of the Sign: Signifier and signified
Signifier :
The physical form of the sign: its phonemes, musical tones, pixels or lines.
Signified :
The mental image of an existing or imaginary thing those sounds conjure up.
Signifier + Signified = SIGN
Our perceptions of the world are made up of DISCOURSE : words, images, etc. that
are meaningful and definitive. (man and women)
Stuart Hall
Born in Jamaica in 1932, died in 2014
Studied english at Oxford in England
Considered a founding figure of “reception theory” : Study how audiences
understand messages in film. tv, print.
Creator of “Halls Theory” of encoding/decoding.
Decoding Halls Theory:
Translate it into everyday english
Find the subject of the sentence
Consider the context
Break it down into smaller sentence
Look up any words
THEN, Summarize the meaning of the quote
find more resources at
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