Audiences are problematic and the study of audiences has represented a key site of activity in the social sciences and humanities. Offering a timely review of the past 50 years of theoretical and methodological debate Audiences argues the case for a paradigmatic shift in audience research. This shift, argue the authors, is necessitated by the emergence of the `diffused audience'. Audience experience can no longer be simply classified as `simple' or `mass', for in modern advanced capitalist societies, people are members of an audience all the time. Being a member of an audience is no longer an exceptional event, nor even an everyday event, rather it is constitutive of everyday life. This book offers an invaluable rev

Changing Audiences; Changing Paradigms of Research

Changing audiences; changing paradigms of research

It is the purpose of this chapter to suggest that audiences for television, music, books, magazines, and so on, are changing together with wider social and cultural changes in society. In reviewing the argument and evidence for these changes, it is unfortunately often difficult to disentangle the real changes in the cultural forms, and the ways in which they are appropriated, from the changing frameworks within which researchers talk about those changes. In other words, what appear to be changes in the real world of the media may instead reflect, partly or wholly, changes in the ideas or concepts that inform and regulate the study of the media. Such a distinction is often captured ...

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