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MDSA01H3 (310)
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Chapter 10

MDSA01 chapter 10

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Media Studies
Ted Petit

CHAPTER 10 RECEPTION ANALYSIS Reception scholars primarily seek to understand the personal meaning that individuals make of mass media texts in relation to their lived social systems and experiencesPower of audiences in shaping the media landscapeReception analysis supports the notion of an active audience constantly reformulating the meanings of media texts across lines of race class gender sexuality etcRECEPTION THEORY AN OVERVIEWReception theory diverse body of work that nevertheless commonly stresses audience interpretation as a primary source of meaning in the mediaMeaning of a text is never inherent meaning only arises in the interaction between text and audience memberWolfgang Isersuggests that theres always some aspects of fictional narratives that are unwritten or left unaddressed by an authorReading involves imagining or filling in these details and by doing so the reader influences the meaning heshe makes of the textProcess can be said to operate in relation to many other media forms as well Media owners might have the economic power to craft media texts with particular messages but its audiences who determine what a text ultimately signifies to themEarliest model of media effects research conceived of the audience as mindless vessels ready to receive media messages sometimes called the hypodermic needle approachSought to discover how the mass media injected particular messages into customers Weakness messages dont mean the same to everyoneaudience doesnt just passively absorb media messagesAs a result Paul Lazarsfeldcolleagues created twostep flow modelOpinion leaders Certain individuals in the audience that attend more carefully to media than othersMass media messages would influence the opinion leaders who would in turn disseminate the info to secondary audiencesModel was still problematic because it supported the notion that the meanings of media messages were clear and definiteGeorge Gerbnercultivation analysis Argues that individuals who watch heavy amounts of TV are hyperconscious to issues of danger and violence in their everyday livesDevelop a distorted view of reality and believe that violence is more prevalent in society than actual statistics supportDonald Shaw and Maxwell McCombstheory of media agendasettingPopular media outlets eg news stations tell American public what to think about and how to think about it they set the national agenda and fuel public concern
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