Audience—Citizens: The Media, Public Knowledge and Interpretive Practice

Audience-Citizens: The Media, Public Knowledge, and Interpretive Practice explores media and democracy from the audience perspective and provides a unique conceptual framework for the analysis of audiences, consumption and citizenship. The author develops a fresh approach towards the examination of media and politics in contemporary India and in the developing world. Though several audience studies have demonstrated links between interpretive practice and audience's socio-cultural contexts, there is little available literature on how these are related. This book explores how sociological and cultural factors affect interpretations of mediated knowledge. Using concepts from contemporary hermeneutics-in particular Gadamer-it examines the notion that understanding is irretrievably linked to the interpreter's socio-cultural positioning. The book also borrows Schultz's conceptual framework to explain the influence of socio-cultural factors on the capacity for understanding. On a micro level, the author focuses on the evaluation and interpretation of non-fiction programs by different audience groups in India. He explores the links between socio-cultural positioning of audiences, inequality of access to symbolic resources and cultural capital, and interpretation of television genres,all of which are crucial for dialogue and debate in a democracy.

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