• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Denis McQuail provides a coherent and succinct account of the concept of ‘media audience’ in terms of its history and its place in present-day media theory and research. McQuail describes and explains the main types of audience and the main traditions and fields of audience research. Audience Analysis explains the contrast between social scientific and humanistic approaches and gives due weight to the view ‘from the audience’ as well as the view ‘from the media.’ McQuail summarizes key research findings and assesses the impact of new media developments, especially transnationalization and new interactive technology.

Typologies of Audience
Typologies of audience
The Duality of the Audience

The history of mass media indicates that audiences can originate both in society and in media and their contents. People stimulate an appropriate supply, or the media attract people to what they choose to offer. If we take the first view, we can consider media as responding to the general needs of a national society, local community, or preexisting social group. They also respond to the specific preferences actively expressed by particular sets of individuals—for instance, the politically active, or business people, or youth, or followers of sport, and so on. Alternatively, if we consider audiences as primarily created by the media, we can see that they are often brought into being by some new technology ...

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