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ASPECTS OF THE AUDIENCE THEORY

The Uses and Gratifications Mode


Rece
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Theo tion
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AUDIENCE THEORIES
Audience theories make us understand better the relation
between texts and audience.
There are three theories:
*The Effects Model or the Hypodermic Model
*The Uses and Gratifications Model
*Reception Theory

The Effects Model or the Hypodermic Model

The consumption of
media texts has an
effect or influence
upon the audience
(negative)
Audience cantt
prevent the influence
The power lies with
the message of the
text

The Effects Model or the


Hypodermic Model
Here, the messages in media texts
are injected into the audience by
the powerful, syringe-like, media
The media works like a drug so the
audience is drugged

Some examples of
theterrible
consequences of the
hypodermic theory :

James Bulger was murdered on 12


February 1993, at the age of two. He
was abducted, tortured and murdered
by two ten-year-old boys, Robert
Thompson and Jon Venables.
Bulger disappeared while he was with
his mother. His mutilated body was
found on a railway line two-and-a-half
miles away , two days after his
murder. Thompson and Venables
were charged on 20 February 1993
with Bulger's abduction and murder.
Apparently they were looking for a
child to try their evil games and
they saw in James the evil character
of Childs play , Chucky.

Lionel Tate was the youngest


murderer in America in 1999 , he
killed a 6 years old girl by practising
moves that he had seen previously in
television from his favourite wrestler.

The conclusion reached was that children will imitate violent


media content because they dont have instruments to
defend themselves , or to decide what is right or wrong.
The effect model is still the dominant theory used by
politicians, some parts of the media and some religious
organisations in attributing violence to the consumption of
media texts.

Subsequently, in each case it


was found that NO case could
be proven to demonstrate a link
between the text and the
violent acts.

Uses and Gratifications Model


It is the theory which explains how people use media
for their need and gratification.
We can say this theory states what people do with
media rather than what media does to people.
This theory is contradictory to the Effects Model
theory which states the audience is passive.
This theory can be said to have a user/audiencecentered approach.
Even for communication people refer to the media for
the topic they discuss with themselves. They gain
more knowledge and that is knowledge is got by using
media for reference.
Far from being duped by the media , the audience is
free to reject, use or play with media.

Blumer and Katz

People seek to gratify needs

Reception Theory
Is the idea that media texts contain more then one
single meaning. Instead it suggests that the
individual members of the audience are the ones
who create the meaning of the text by how they
interpret it
Every text is encoded with a message or meaning
The audience eventually can encode the message or
meaning in the correct way or fail it and dont
understand what the producer is trying to say

Stuart Hall (an academic) established


that in the audience there are three
different types of readers :
1. Dominant or preferred
2. Negotiated
3. Oppositional