The culturalist approach to media studies understood media and audiences as transmitters and receivers, respectively. As a general perspective, it was developed during early research on mass communication, and it identifies a cultural dimension in every aspect of media use and production. The most significant contribution to the subsequent development of this perspective has been made by the cultural studies (CS) theoretical and research paradigm developed in Britain in the late 1950s. Under this paradigm, individuals who form part of audiences are thought to independently process and assign meanings to messages conveyed by the media with their texts or images. The CS approach highlights the active role of individuals in their interactions with the media. This entry discusses the origins of the culturalist approach and ...

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