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Audience

  • By: Ben Voth
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

An essential concept in communication study is the idea of audience. An audience is the intended recipient of a message. Classic models of communication suggest a linear progression of a process from the sender, to message composition, to reception by an audience. Given this primacy, scholarly understanding of audience is a premium in all theoretical studies and case studies of communication. From the standpoint of humor, the amusement and even laughter of an audience constitutes a fruition to a humorous communication act.

Classical Notions of Audience

The earliest Greek construction of communication, most often related to Aristotle's notion of rhetoric, organized explanations around potential audiences that were well understood at the time. Classical categories such as deliberative and forensic assumed respective audiences of a legislative body and ...

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