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COM 275 Audience Theory and Research Traditions.docx

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Michigan State University
COM 275

COM 275 Audience Theory and Research Traditions 2/5/2013 11:43:00 AM Origins of the Audience  The concept of audience is changing  Modern mass media audience differs in being o Larger o More dispersed o Individualized and privatized From Mass to Market  Audience as market o Blumer (1939) distinguished „mass‟ from old notions of group, crowd and the public o Mass audience was large, dispersed, and always shifting o An aggregate of individual consumers o Boundaries based on economic criteria o Members are unrelated to each other o Members have no shared identity o The formation is temporary Critical Perspectives  Negative views- range from simple snobbery to sophisticated media analysis  Main criticism is that commercial organizations exploit media consumers. Alternative Traditions of Research  The structural tradition o Obtain reliable estimates of the size  The behaviorist tradition o Media effects and media uses o One way process in which the audience is conceived as a target or passive recipient of a message  The cultural tradition o Concerned with popular culture o Media use is a reflection of a particular social-culture context o How does culture might act as an important part of the communication process to give m
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