The Second Edition of this book provides a comprehensive overview of the ways in which social theory has attempted to theorize the importance of the media in contemporary society. Understanding Media Cultures is now fully revised and takes account of the recent theoretical developments associated with New Media and Information Society, as well as the audience and the public sphere.
Chapter 3: Critical Perspectives within Audience Research: Problems in Interpretation, Agency, Structure and Ideology
Critical Perspectives within Audience Research: Problems in Interpretation, Agency, Structure and Ideology
The Emergence of Critical Audience Studies
Basically two kinds of audience research are currently being undertaken. The first and most widely circulated form of knowledge about the audience is gathered by large-scale communication institutions. This form of investigation is made necessary as television, radio, cinema and print production need to attract viewers, listeners and readers. In order to capture an audience modern institutions require knowledge about the ‘public's’ habits, tastes and dispositions. This enables media corporations to target certain audience segments with a programme or textual strategy. The desire to know who is in the audience at any one time provides useful knowledge ...