Media Audiences

Media Audiences

  • Summary
  • Overview
  • Key Readings

The relationship between the media and viewers, readers and listeners is complex and consequently ‘audiences’ have become a key area in media and communications research in the social sciences and humanities. This major reference collection brings together a range of theoretical, methodological and thematically diverse articles and chapters that comprehensively map the most important kinds of work and ideas in international audience studies.

Volume I overviews the history of audience research and the ways that audiences have been conceptualised. It includes papers that consider how debates and discussions about audiences have changed in the context of different media developments. Volume II deals with different ways that audiences and their responses/uses of media have been measured. This volume pays particular attention to the way that audience studies have responded to the challenges of different media. Volume III focusses on specific genres of entertainment, specific media, or on specific media groups. Finally, Volume IV looks specifically at audience research that has tested the way that the media influence society, attitudes and behaviours. The papers reflect a range of the different topics that have been tested and also to give a sense of different methodologies used to test these.

Editors’ Introduction: Media Audiences

BarrieGunter and DavidMachin

Origins of Audiences

The study of media audiences is central to understanding the roles played by media in society. Media and their audiences are inextricably linked depending upon one another for definition and identity. Without an audience, the major communications media would lack purpose. In the absence of the communications media, there would be no audience to consider. This four-volume set pulls together 72 articles published over a period spanning 50 years that contain commentaries on theoretical perspectives, reviews of research and reports based on specific empirical investigations.

The topic of audiences has generated a vast quantity of theoretical and empirical literature. The origins of audiences can be traced back far beyond the time of the earliest forms of mass media ...

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