• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Media Studies examines the theories, practices, and future of this fast-growing field. Editor John Downing and associate editors Denis McQuail, Philip Schlesinger, and Ellen Wartella have brought together a team of international contributors to provide a varied critical analysis of this intensely interesting field of study. The Handbook offers a comprehensive review within five interconnected areas: humanistic and social scientific approaches; global and comparative perspectives; the relation of media to economy and power; media users; and elements in the media mosaic ranging from popular music to digital technologies, from media ethics to advertising, and from Hollywood and Bollywood to alternative media.

Contemporary Television Audiences: Publics, Markets, Communities, and Fans
Contemporary television audiences: Publics, markets, communities, and fans
Remarkable as it may seem, Americans spend more of their lifetime being an audience than working or sleeping. This reflects the cornucopia of entertainment and communication that surrounds us in the latter part of the twentieth century. Its pervasiveness makes it central to understanding our culture and our society today.
RichardButsch (2000, p. 295)

There are several competing and sometimes overlapping ways of understanding audiences. Publics, markets, communities, and fans are the main terms used to describe people when they are “being an audience.” This chapter will explore these audiences conceptually, using a variety of empirical examples.

The Changing Audience Experience

As a mode of human experience, audience is a way of describing ...

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