This module examines new and key developments in audience research and considers the cultural, social and economic significance of ‘the audience.’ The module will explore how the concept of the audience has shifted over time, and how the vulnerable ‘dupes’ of the early mass audience became today’s digital ‘prosumers.’ In doing so, it will provide students with an understanding of different theoretical approaches to the creativity of audiences, and a critical perspective on the ways that audiences have been denigrated, feared, courted, and celebrated over time. What do these changing notions of the audience tell us about the influence of the media and the complex relationship between producers and consumers? More broadly, in an age of digital media and increasing personalisation and individualisation of media content, can ‘the audience’ still be seen to exist?
The module is team taught, with a series of guest lectures providing students with insights into different methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of the media ‘audience.’ During the module students will also be provided with an opportunity to develop their critical and analytical skills through the production of a critical review of an object text (a piece of empirical audience research).
By the end of the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate and articulate knowledge of the ways that audience research is informed by different theoretical and methodological perspectives.
2. Explain the ways that key developments (e.g. social, historical, political, and technological) have shaped the nature of contemporary media audiences.
3 Engage confidently with academic debates relating to media influence and the practices of media audiences.
Teaching and Learning on the Module
Each week will consist of a two hour lecture and one hour seminar. The format of each lecture and seminar will vary, and will include small group work and in-class discussion. All students are expected to participate. Registers of attendance will be kept weekly. During the course we expect you to keep up with the weekly readings and engage with a variety of media forms. Further information about these requirements can be found below.
Each week you will have one or two key readings and will also be provided with a list of further readings. Students are required to read the key readings for each week in advance of the lectures. This will then give you an opportunity to ask the lecturer questions about the key reading they have set for you.
We also advise you to read beyond the key readings each week – this is particularly important in respect of your essay assignment, where we will be looking for evidence of your engagement with a body of literature relating to your chosen question. Many of these readings are available online, and publications marked *** will either be available online or through electronic copies stocked by the Library (sometimes in addition to hard copies of the book or article). The electronic reading list for this module, which contains links to key readings and object texts, can be found via the Reading List link on the Blackboard module page and also here: http://readinglists.le.ac.uk/modules/ms2004.html
As well as the readings that are presented each week, the following books are recommended as general representations of audience studies which will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the area. This will give you knowledge about the recent history of the contemporary approaches to audiences that are presented directly to you in the lectures. You can borrow these books from the library.
• Alasuutari, P. (1999) Rethinking the Media Audience (London: Sage) ***
• Boyd-Barrett, O. & Newbold, C. (eds.) (1995) Approaches to Media (London: Arnold)
• Brooker, W. & Jermyn, D. (eds.) (2003) The Audience Studies Reader (London: Routledge)
• Dickinson, R., Harindranath, R.& Linné, O., (eds.) (1998) Approaches to Audiences: A reader, (London: Arnold)
• Gauntlett, D (2005) Moving Experiences, 2nd edition: Media effects and beyond (New Barnet, Herts, John Libbey)
• Moores, S. (1993) Interpreting Audiences (London: Sage)
• McQuail, D., (2010) McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 6th Edition, Parts 6 & 7, (London: Sage)
• Ruddock, A. (2001) Understanding Audiences: Theory and Method (London: Sage) ***
The following academic journals are also recommended:
• Participations: International Journal of Audience Research ( www.participations.org )
• European Journal of Communication
• Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
• The Fibreculture Journal ( www.fibreculturejournal.org )
• International Journal of Cultural Studies
During the course, in order to familiarise yourselves with the experiences of audiences, you should read, watch and listen to as many different media texts as possible. You need to be familiar with online environments, film, television news, soap, and drama, radio programming, cinema and music. Explore media you would not normally pay attention to. Go to the cinema and choose a newspaper, magazine and radio station that you aren’t already familiar with. Familiarise yourself with parts of the internet you never visit. You should also regularly examine the media (e.g. business, technology) sections of at least one of the national daily newspapers to keep up to date with current developments that will impact audiences in various ways. The UK newspaper media sections are:
The Guardian (Mondays) http://www.theguardian.com/uk/media, The Times (Tuesdays) and The Independent (Wednesdays) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/ .
Week of Module
Creative Audiences: Introduction
Hugh Ortega Breton
Distraction: making sense of how we watch, listen and post
Hugh Ortega Breton
The Effects Tradition
Games players as audiences
Psychosocial approaches to audiences
Psychosocial Audiences 2: Female audiences, class and gender
Being & Researching Audiences
Hugh Ortega Breton
Children and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) media practices
Interacting with Television
Are audiences dead in the age of the Internet?
***This lecture is on the Wednesday following the normal Tuesday lecture.
11 5th May Essay Queries Hugh Ortega Breton
This module is assessed via two individual assignments:
• One Critical Review of a piece of audience research (an “object text”):
o This should be of 1500 words and is worth 40% of the module mark. The deadline for this assignment is Weds 8th April
• One Essay:
o This should be of 3000 words and is worth 60% of your module mark. The deadline for this assignment is Weds 13th May
Further information about these assignments can be found below.
Assignment 1: Critical Review of an Object Text
This assignment asks you to produce a critical review of one of the core readings from the course – which we are treating as “object texts” – the focus of your critical gaze. Being critical is one of the key skills in academic work, and this assignment requires you to both read and write in a critical manner. There are three key steps to the writing of your critical review:
Step 1: Select one of the object texts (see the list below).
Step 2: Summarise your selected object text (300 words max):
Here you should:
• Note the publication details and biographical details about the author [look up the author online if these are not in the reading].
• Note where and when they were writing.
• Identify and then provide a clear summary in your own words of the central question or issue that the paper explores AND the main claims/argument presented by the researcher(s) in respect of the findings of their research;
Step 3. Produce a critical account of your object text:
In doing so, you should:
• Examine the reasons and evidence provided to support the claims/argument made by the author
• Consider the extent to which you think that the claims made or interpretations presented are justified and supported by these reasons/evidence
• Consider whether any aspects of methodology, presentation or argument are unclear
• Consider the strengths and weaknesses of the piece (compared to other articles/chapters you have read)
It is very important that the primary focus of your review is on your critical engagement with the object text, rather than your summary of what the reading says. It is therefore strongly recommended that your initial summary of the object text should be no more than 300 words.
You will need to make use of other relevant literature (for example using a different theoretical approach to the same object of interest) that you have read in order to be critical, but we will not be expecting you to demonstrate wide reading in this assignment – your primary focus should be on critically evaluating your object text.
The Student Learning Development Centre webpages provide some general guidance on what makes critical reading and critical writing, which you may find useful.
• Critical Reading: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/writing-resources/critical-reading
• Critical Writing: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/writing-resources/critical-writing
List of Object Texts
You should select ONE object text from the following list:
• Highmore, B. (2011) ‘Absentminded media’ Chapter 5 in Ordinary Lives: Studies in the Everyday. Abingdon and New York, Routledge. pp. 114-138 (Week 2)
• Ortega Breton, H. (2013) ‘A Psycho-cultural approach to Radio Listening and Creative Production’, The Radio Journal – International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media, Vol. 11 Issue 1, DOI: 10.1386/rjao.11.1.75_1 (Week 2)
• Livingstone, S. (1996) “On the continuing problems of media effects research.” Available at: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/21503/ (Week 3)
• Humphreys, S. (2005.) “Productive Players: Online Computer Games’ Challenge to Conventional Media Forms.” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 2(1), pp. 37-51. (Week 4)
• Whitehouse-Hart, J (2014) ‘Spending too much time watching TV?’ Chapter 3 of Psychosocial Explorations of Film and Television Viewing: Ordinary Audience, Palgrave Macmillan. (Week 5)
• Whitehouse-Hart, J. (2014) ‘Mothers, sons, siblings and the imaginative world or working class women’s viewing’ Chapter 5 of Psychosocial Explorations of Film and Television Viewing: Ordinary Audience, Palgrave Macmillan. (Week 6)
• Kearney, M.C. (2006) “Grrrl Zines: Exploring Identity, Transforming Girls’ Written Culture.” In Girls Make Media. New York, NY: Routledge, pp.135-187. (Week 8)
• Wood, H. (2007) ‘The Mediated Conversational Floor: An interactive approach to audience reception analysis’. Media, Culture and Society 29(1): 75-103. (Week 9)
• Das, R (2011) ‘Converging perspectives in audience studies and digital literacies: youthful interpretations of an online genre.’ European Journal of Communication 26: 4, 343-360 (Week 10)
Assignment 2: Essay
The module requires you to write an essay of 3000 words, which will count as 60% of the final module mark.
Read your chosen question carefully – make sure that you understand it – and then be sure to address it directly and critically in your answer, making use of relevant readings from the course handbook.
You should select your main readings from the key and further readings lists and build on these by drawing from other relevant sources. Plan your reading and preparation of the essay effectively to ensure that you have access to the material you need.
Essays should always refer to the appropriate theoretical topics covered in the course and should include media examples where relevant and appropriate..
You should select one essay title from the list of questions below:
1. How does the concept of Zerstreuung help us to gain an insight into the experience of contemporary media audiences/users and the potential for audiences to be critical? Critically discuss and illustrate with your own examples.
2. Critically evaluate psychological and sociological approaches to media effects and explain why both are now regarded as problematic.
3. What is ‘playbour’? Provide examples from digital game play and culture and critically discuss how this theory challenges the conceptualization of digital game players as audiences.
4. Critically discuss the extent to which audiences are psychosocial, making reference to the watching of television and film at home and how audiences interpret texts.
5. What challenges and opportunities do networked technologies present for children’s DIY media? Critically evaluate the relevant literature on this subject.
6. Is television a ‘lean-back’ or a ‘lean-in’ medium? Critically discuss with reference to research on television interaction.
7. Audiences have always been active, co-creators of meaning so how do social media alter the researching of media audiences? Explain this statement and critically analyse the empirical research of social media audiences in light of this.
8. Critically discuss whether ‘audiences’ is an appropriate category for researching people who are also internet users.
Plagiarism and Referencing
It is very important that you understand what plagiarism is and means. Please read this section carefully. Podcasts are also available on Blackboard to help you but most students who plagiarise do it out of misunderstanding the extent to which a) referencing is required and b) using text from other writings without signalling the text which is used is a quote and c) they should paraphrase ideas and not just rephrase the concepts out of a lack of confidence in their ability to explain something. Remember that work which is your own primarily (including the correct presentation of secondary material) is inherently better than an essay which does little other that present lots of things that other people have written (even when presented accurately as a series of quotes or rephrasings) uncritically. We want to know what you think about a topic in relationship to what other reading you have done and not just what others have said. If you read the marking criteria in the Programme Handbook, you will see that the presence of your own authorial voice, having an argument and achieving originality are at the heart of improving marks for assessments.
Plagiarism is to take the work of another person and use it as if it were one’s own in such a way as to mislead the reader. This can apply to whole pieces of work (for example, if a student put his or her name on another student’s essay), or part pieces, where chapters or extracts are lifted from other sources, including the Internet, without acknowledgement. Any plagiarism in assessments which contribute to the final degree class are likely to lead, at the very least, to the down-grading of the degree class by one division or at Master’s degree level to a down-grading of the award to Diploma level. In the worst cases, expulsion from the University is a possibility.
The severity of the penalties imposed for plagiarism stems from the University’s view that learning is a search for truth and that falsehood and deception have no place in this search. The emphasis placed on avoiding plagiarism sometimes worries students, who believe that they will find it impossible to avoid using someone else’s thoughts when they spend all their time reading critical works, commentaries and other secondary sources and are required to show in their work that they have studied such material. Sometimes problems arise from poor working practices, where students muddle up their own notes with extracts or notes taken from published sources. In the light of all that has been said above, the question you should ask yourself about any piece of academic work is ‘Will the marker be able to distinguish between my own ideas and those I have obtained from others?’. What markers fundamentally want to see is that students have read widely around the subject, that the sources used have been acknowledged, and that the conclusions that arise from the study are the student’s own.
If you are in any doubt about what constitutes plagiarism, please seek the assistance of your course tutor.
You can also refer to the Student Support and Development Service’s leaflets Avoiding Plagiarism and Referencing and Bibliographies, available free from the SSDS Information Room in the David Wilson Library and from the Student Development Centre Website (http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ssds) in the Writing Skills section.
As already stated above, whenever drawing on the ideas of others, there must be an acknowledgement of this in coursework. If you are paraphrasing someone else’s ideas you need to reference the relevant work(s) you are using. Please also note that direct quotations must be enclosed in quotation marks.
The purpose of proper citing and referencing is to (a) appropriately acknowledge others for ideas that you have found useful, (b) allow readers to follow up on points that they may find useful, (c) allow critical readers to check your use of ideas, data, etc., for accuracy and fairness and, perhaps most importantly, (d) avoid charges of plagiarism. Please remember that a reference at the bottom of a paragraph or page is not a sufficient reference for the whole paragraph or page and that you should reference following each idea or quote which you have included. This may necessarily lead to some repetition in references but it leads little room for doubt and will help you recognise places where you are too reliant on somebody else’s text. When referencing you should provide the author’s surname, date of publication and, if the idea or quotation has a specific page or range of pages, the page number(s) relevant.
For additional information on referencing, please see UG Student Handbook or seek advice from the Student Support and Development Services staff in the David Wilson library.
Lecture 1: Creative Audiences: An Introduction
Hugh Ortega Breton
What does it mean to say an audience is creative? Don’t audiences normally watch or listen to other people being creative? In this opening lecture we will introduce the module as a whole and reasons why the researching of audiences is important. We will clarify the changing meaning of active audiences in the contemporary ‘mediascape’ or media ecology and begin to think critically about what it means to claim that audiences are creative.
Creative Audiences, a student perspective (YouTube)
What do you think about Creative Audiences? (YouTube)
Livingstone, S. (2003) ‘The Changing Nature of Audiences: From the Mass Audience to the Interactive Media User’, London: LSE Research Online. Available at: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/417/
Abercrombie, N. & Longhurst, B. (1998) Audiences: a sociological theory of performance and imagination, (London: Sage), particularly Chapters 1 & 2, pp.3-76.
Erni, J. (1989) ‘Where Is the “Audience?”: Discerning the (Impossible) Subject’, Journal of Communication Inquiry, 13(2), 30–42.
Golding, P. & Murdock, G. (1978) ‘Theories of Communication and Theories of Society’ in Communication Research, Vol.5, no.3, July 1978, pp. 339-356. ***
Halloran, J.D. (1981/1995) ‘The context of mass communication research’ in Boyd-Barrett, O. and Newbold, C. (eds.) Approaches to Media, pp. 33-42.
McQuail, D. (1997) ‘A Concept With a History’ and ‘The Audience in Communication Theory and Research’ in Audience Analysis, (London: Sage) pp. 1-11 and pp. 12-24.
McQuail, D. (2010) Chapter 15: ‘Audience Theory and Research Traditions’, pp.398-417, & Chapter 17: ‘Processes and Models of Media Effects’, in McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory 6th Ed. (London: Sage) pp.454-475.
McQuail, D. (2005) ‘Audience theory and research traditions’, Mass Communication Theory: An Introduction, 5th Ed. (London: Sage), pp. 395-418.
Williams, R (1974) ‘Effects of the technology and its uses’ in Television: Technology and Cultural Form, (Fontana) pp. 119-134. Also available in Corner, J and Hawthorn, J. (1980) (eds.) Communication Studies: an introductory reader, (London: Edward Arnold) pp. 174-186.
Lecture 2: Distraction/Diversion: making sense of how we now watch, listen and post & Radio Audiences
Hugh Ortega Breton
This session will give you two separate lectures. The first lecture will introduce the concept of Zerstreuung, the distraction and diversion of attention when using media. We will be focussing on the experiential aspect (the mode) of our media interactions. Utilizing the work of the renowned and influential Frankfurt School theorists Siegfried Kracauer (1926) and Walter Benjamin (1936, 1939), we will begin to theorise everyday media use in terms of the movement of attention, referred to as ‘distraction’ and ‘diversion’. This concept does not have the same negative connotation as the everyday, common sense use of the word ‘distracted’ but instead suggests a potentially critical mode of audience behaviour encouraged by our saturated and intense media interactions.
The second lecture will introduce you to the psychocultural approach to media analysis by considering why people love listening to radio so much. This approach shares common origins with the approach to audience research provided by Jo Whitehouse-Hart in lectures 5 and 6 so this will introduce you to thinking about audiences in a way which considers both ‘psychological’, emotional and social factors together.
You can choose one to read or read both but please let your seminar tutor know by Weds. 4th February.
Highmore, B. (2011) ‘Absentminded media’ Chapter 5 in Ordinary Lives: Studies in the Everyday. Abingdon and New York, Routledge. pp. 114-138 (OBJECT TEXT)
Ortega Breton, H. (2013) ‘A Psycho-cultural approach to Radio Listening and Creative Production’, The Radio Journal – International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media, Vol. 11 Issue 1, DOI: 10.1386/rjao.11.1.75_1 (OBJECT TEXT)
Further Readings: Distraction/Diversion
Benjamin, W. (2002 ) ‘Theory of Distraction’ in Selected Writings: Volume 3, 1935-1938, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp.141-42
Benjamin, W. (2003 ) ‘The Work of Art in the Age of its Reproducibility’ [third version], Selected Writings: Volume 4, 1938-1940, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp.251-83
Variations on his meditations on distraction as a critical mode may also be found in his work on Brecht, and in The Arcades Project.
Bennett, A. (2005) ‘Media and New Media’ Chapter 4 of Culture and Everyday Life, London, Sage
Elliott, A. & Urry, J. (2010) Mobile Lives. London, Routledge
Gripsrud, J. (2001) Understanding Media Culture, London: Edward Arnold.
Hake, S. (1987) ‘Girls and Crisis – The Other Side of Diversion’, New German Critique, v.40, pp. 147-64
Highmore, B. (2011) Ordinary Lives: Studies in the Everyday. Routledge.
Kracauer, S. (1926) ‘Cult of Distraction: On Berlin’s Picture Palaces’, in The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays, translated by Thomas Y. Levin, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press.
Scott, S. (2009) Making Sense of Everyday Life. Cambridge, Polity Press.
Silverstone, R. (1994) Television and Everyday Life. London, Routledge.
Psychocultural approach to Radio listening
Born, G. (1998), ‘Anthropology, Kleinian Psychoanalysis, and the Subject in Culture’, American Anthropologist, New Series, 100: 2, pp. 373–86.
Ewart, J. (2011), ‘Therapist, companion, and friend: The under-appreciated role of talkback radio in Australia’, Journal of Radio & Audio Media, 18: 2, pp. 231–45.
Hollway, W. (2008), ‘The importance of relational thinking in the practice of psycho-social research: Ontology, epistemology, methodology and ethics’, in S. Clarke, P. Hoggett, and H. Hahn (eds), Object Relations and Social Relations, London: Karnac, pp. 137–62.
—— (2011), ‘In between external and internal worlds: Imagination in transitional space’, Methodological Innovations Online, 6: 3, pp. 50–60.
Meadows, M. and Foxwell, K. (2011), ‘Community broadcasting and mental health: The role of local radio and television in enhancing emotional and social well-being’, The Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media, 9: 2, pp. 89–106.
Ostwald, P. (1989) ‘The healing power of music: Some observations on the semiotic function of transitional objects in musical communication’, I. Rauch & G. F. Carr (eds.) The Semiotic Bridge: Trends from California, Walter de Gruyter.
Richards, B. and Brown, J. (2011) ‘Media as drivers of the therapeutic trend?’ Free Associations: Psychoanalysis and Culture, Media, Groups, Politics, Number 62 Therapy Culture/Culture as Therapy, pp. 18-30.
Tacchi, Jo A. (2009) ‘Radio and affective rhythm in the everyday’ The Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media, 7(2). pp. 171-183.
Lecture 3: The Effects Tradition
For many years the dominant understanding of media audiences assumed powerful media effecting a relatively passive and often mass audience – this is the Effects Tradition in Media and Communication research. It encompassed both psychological and sociological accounts of the media audience and focused on identifying and studying the ways on which the media affected individuals and society. In this lecture, we will look at two famous examples of effects research that exemplify the psychological (Bandura) and the Sociological (Gerbner) effects drawing comparisons between these two different views and gaining an understanding of the criticisms of this approach to the media audience.
Livingstone, S (1996) “On the continuing problems of media effects research.” Available at: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/21503/ (OBJECT TEXT)
Bandura, Albert (1965) Influence of models’ reinforcement contingencies on the acquisition of imitative responses. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 06/1965, Volume 1, Issue 6
Gauntlett, D. “Ten Things Wrong with the Media Effects Model”. This article was published (as ‘Ten things wrong with the “effects model”‘) in Roger Dickinson, Ramaswani Harindranath & Olga Linné, eds (1998), Approaches to Audiences – A Reader, published by Arnold, London. Available online at: http://www.theory.org.uk/david/effects.htm
Gerbner, George (1998) Cultivation Analysis: An Overview. Mass Communication and Society, Volume 1, Issue 3
Morgan, Michael; Shanahan, James (2010) The State of Cultivation. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 05/2010, Volume 54, Issue 2
O’Neill, Brian (2011) Media Effects in Context. In Nightingale, V (Ed.) The Handbook of Media Audiences, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Potter, W. James (2014) A Critical Analysis of Cultivation Theory. Journal of Communication, Volume 64, Issue 6
Lecture 4: Games players as audiences
In this lecture we consider how the interactive and participatory of both digital game play and digital games culture can challenge the conceptualization of players as audiences, and how this in turn impacts on issues related to copyright, intellectual property, user contracts, and labour.
Humphreys, S. (2005.) “Productive Players: Online Computer Games’ Challenge to Conventional Media Forms.” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 2(1), pp. 37-51. (OBJECT TEXT)
van Dijck, J. (2009.) “Users like You? Theorizing Agency in User-Generated Content.” Media, Culture & Society 31(1), pp. 41-58
Arvidsson, A. & Sandvik, K. (2007.) “Gameplay as Design: Uses of Computer Players’ Immaterial Labour.” Northern Lights 5(1), pp. 89-104.
Banks, J. & Humphreys, S. (2008.) “The Labor of User Co-Creators: Emergent Social Network Markets?” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 14(4), pp. 401-418.
Banks, J. & Potts, J. (2010.) “Co-creating Games: A Co-evolutionary Analysis.” New Media & Society 12(2), pp. 253-270.
Coleman, S. & Dyer-Witheford, N. (2007.) “Playing on the Digital Commons: Collectivities, Capital and Contestation in Videogame Culture.” Media, Culture & Society 29(6), pp. 934-953.
Consalvo, M. (2013.) Chapter 6: “Unintended Travel: ROM Hackers and Fan Translations of Japanese Video Games.” In Hunteman, N. B. & Asinger, B. (Eds.), Gaming Globally: Production, Play and Place. New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 119-138****
Grimes, S.M. (2006.) “Online Multiplayer Games: A Virtual Space for Intellectual Property Debates?” New Media & Society 8(6), pp. 969-990.
Grimes, S.M. (2014.) “Little Big Scene: Making and Playing culture in Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet.” Cultural Studies, OnlineFirst. DOI: 10.1080/09502386.2014.937944
Grimes, S.M. & Feenberg, A. (2009.) “Rationalizing Play: A Critical Theory of Digital Gaming.” The Information Society 25(2), pp. 105-118.
Harvey, A. & Fisher, S. (2013.) “Making a Name in Games: Immaterial Labour, Indie Game Design, and Gendered Social Network Markets.” Information, Communication, and Society 16(3), pp. 362-380.
Kline, Stephen et al (2003.) Chapter 9: “Workers and Warez: Labour and Piracy in the Global Game Market,” in Digital Play: the Interaction of technology, Culture and marketing, McGill-Queen’s, pp 197-217. (E-BOOK)
Kücklich, J. (2005.) “Precarious Playbour: Modders and the Digital Game Industry.” Fibreculture 5. http://journal.fibreculture.org/issue5/kucklich_print.html.
Newman, J. (2012.) “Ports and patches: Digital games as unstable objects.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 18(2), pp. 135-142.
Postigo, H. (2007.) “Of Mods and Modders: Chasing Down the Value of Fan-Based Digital Game Modifications.” Games and Culture 2(4), pp. 300-313.
Sotamaa, O. (2010.) “When the Game Is Not Enough: Motivations and Practices Among Computer Game Modding Culture.” Games and Culture 5(3), pp. 239-255.
van Dijck, J. (2009.) “Users like You? Theorizing Agency in User-Generated Content.” Media, Culture & Society 31(1), pp. 41-58
Lecture 5: Psychosocial approaches to Audiences Part 1
This is the first lecture of two which introduces and explores audiences from a psychosocial theoretical perspective. Audience Studies have traditionally been influenced by sociological perspectives. Film theory on the other hand embraced psychoanalysis. Rarely were the two approaches in dialogue. A psychosocial approach starts from the position that the social (or outer world) and the inner (psychological and unconscious worlds) are inextricably linked. We cannot understand audience experiences without paying equal attention to both domains. This will be illustrated through the case studies of two single men found in the object text for the week. We will consider what it means for audience studies to embrace a psychosocial approach. The lecture will explain why the ‘home’ provides a particularly intense psychosocial viewing space.
‘Spending too much time watching TV?’ in Whitehouse-Hart, J. (2014) Psychosocial Explorations of Film and Television Viewing: Ordinary Audience, Palgrave Macmillan. Chapter 3. **** (OBJECT TEXT)
Seiter, E. (1990) Making Distinctions: The Case Study of a Troubling Interview in Cultural Studies Vol 4, No.1 61-84.
Two readings that illustrate the use of object relations psychoanalytic ideas in understanding television and can be found in Bainbridge, C. and Yates, C. (Eds.) (2014) Media and the Inner World : Psychocultural Approaches to Emotion, Media and Popular Culture:
• Ortega Breton, H. (2013) ‘Coping with a Crisis of meaning: Televised Paranoia’
OPEN ACCESS ONLINE: http://freeassociations.org.uk/FA_New/OJS/index.php/fa/article/view/42
• Whitehouse-Hart, J. (2014) ‘Programmes for people who are paranoid about the way they look’: Thoughts on Paranoia, Recognition, Mirrors and Makeover Television’
Bainbridge, C, Ward, I and Yates C (eds) Television and Psychoanalysis 2014 Karnac.
Hollway, W and Jefferson , T Doing Qualitative Research Differently 2010 Sage.
O’Shaughnessy, M (1994) Promoting Emotions: Understanding Films Understanding Ourselves. In Metro Media and Education Magazine Vol 97 (ON BLACKBOARD)
O’Shaughnessy, M (1995) “Therapy at the Movies,” in Metro Media and Education Magazine Vol. 103
Redman, P and Whitehouse-Hart, J (2008) “‘I just wanted her out’ Attachment the Psycho-social and Media Texts” in Redman P (ed.) Attachment, Sociology and Social Worlds Open University Press.
Winnicott, D. (2005 edition) Playing and Reality, Penguin.
Lecture 6: Psychosocial Audiences 2: Female audiences, class and gender
This lecture will develop themes introduced in last week’s session. The lecture will look specifically at existing thought on gendered and classed viewing. It will offer a psychosocial perspective which will point to new ways of thinking about ‘family viewing’. The lecture will explore how our biographical experiences which are interwoven with our class and gender impact on the way we view television and film texts.
Whitehouse-Hart, J. (2014) ‘Mothers, sons, siblings and the imaginative world or working class women’s viewing’ in Jo Whitehouse-Hart (2014) Psychosocial Explorations of Film and Television Viewing: Ordinary Audience, Chapter 5 Palgrave Macmillan. (OBJECT TEXT)
Seiter, E. (1990) “Making Distinctions: The Case Study of a Troubling Interview,” Cultural Studies Vol. 4, No.1 61-84.
Brunsdon C. and L. Spigel (eds, 2nd edition) (2007) Feminist Film Criticism: A Reader, OU press.
Hills, M. (2006) “Essential Tensions: Winnicottian Object-Relations in the Media Sociology of Roger Silverstone” International Journal of Communication, Issue 1.
Hills, M. (2005) “Patterns of Surprise: The “Aleatory Object” in Psychoanalytic Ethnography and Cyclical Fandom” in American Behavioral Scientist Vol. 48, No. 7.
Kuhn, A (ed.) (2013) Little Madnesses: Winnicott Transitional Phenomenon and Cultural Experience, I.B. Taurus.
Lopate, C (1977) ‘Daytime Television you’ll Never Want to Leave Home,’ Radical America, Vol. 11, No 1 33-51
Silverstone, R. (1993). “Television, Ontological Security and the Transitional Object” Media, Culture and Society, 15, 573-598.
Silverstone, R. (1994). Television and Everyday Life. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.
7 Being and Researching Audiences: Research Activity
Hugh Ortega Breton
Together we will experience audience research as participants to give you an idea of how audience research can be carried out. Some of you may well want to research audiences for your dissertation so this session is aimed towards familiarising you with the practicalities of one form of researching audiences of moving image (television and film) texts. The session will be concerned with texts which attempt to provoke social and political responses in their audiences. You will watch some short videos from environmental NGOs and then discuss the ideas and emotions these videos provoked in you. There are no key readings for this week, but you should come to the lecture with a notepad and pen, and be ready to share your opinions about what you will watch. You will then be given time to reflect on what it felt like to be researched as an audience member, and this experience will help you to better understand your research participants when you research yourselves.
Lecture 8: Children and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) media practices
In this lecture we look at a range of children and youth do-it-yourself media-making practices and consider the ways in which online platforms for these activities can both support youth creativity and present novel problems for these forms of creativity.
Kearney, M.C. (2006.) “Grrrl Zines: Exploring Identity, Transforming Girls’ Written Culture.” In Girls Make Media. New York, NY: Routledge, pp.135-187. (OBJECT TEXT)
Banet-Weiser, S. (2011.) “Branding the Post-Feminist Self: Girls’ Video Production and YouTube.” In Mediated Girlhoods: New Explorations of Girls’ Media Culture. Edited by Mary Celeste Kearney. New York: Peter Lang, pp. 277-294.
Buckingham, D. (2010.) “Skate Perception: Self-Representation, Identity and Visual Style in a Youth Subculture.” In Video Cultures: Media Technology and Everyday Creativity. Edited by David Buckingham & Rebekah Willett. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Gauntlett, D. & Thomsen, B.S. (2013.) Cultures of Creativity: Nurturing Creative Mindsets Across Cultures. The LEGO Foundation.
Grimes, S.M. (2003.) “All About the Blog: Young People’s Adoption of Internet Technologies and the Marketers Who Love Them.” Computers and Society Magazine 32(5).
Grimes, S.M. (2007.) “Terms of Service, Terms of Play In Children’s Online Gaming.” In Williams, J.P. & Smith J.H. (Eds.) The Players’ Realm. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc, pp. 33-55.
Grimes, S.M. (2013). “Child-Generated Content: Children’s Authorship and Interpretive Practices in Digital Gaming Cultures.” In Coombe, R.J. & D. Wershler (Eds.) Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Kafai, Y.B., Ching, C.C. & Marshall, S. (1997.) “Children as Designers of Educational Multimedia Software.” Computers & Education 29(2/3), pp. 117-126.
Kearney, M.C. (2006.) “Developing the Girl’s Gaze: Female Youth and Film Production.” In Girls Make Media. New York, NY: Routledge, pp. 189-237.
Knobel, M. & Lankshear, C. (2010.) DIY Media: Creating, Sharing, and Learning with New Technologies. New York: Peter Lang.
Pelletier, C., Burn, A. & Buckingham, D. (2010.) “Game Design as Textual Poaching: Media Literacy, Creativity and Game-making.” E-Learning and Digital Media 7(1), pp. 90- 107.
Peppler, K., Warschaeuer, M., & Diazgranados, A. (2010.) “Game Critics: exploring the role of critique in game-design literacies.” E-Learning and Digital Media 7(1), pp. 35-48.
Robinson, I. & Delahooke, A. (2001.) “Fabricating friendships: The ordinariness of agency in the social use of an everyday medical technology in the school lives of children.” In Hutchby, I & Moran-Ellis, J (Eds.), Children, Technology and Culture: The Impacts of Technologies in Children’s Everyday Lives. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 81-96
Lecture 9: Interacting with Television (Tuesday 24th March)
This lecture considers how we dynamically watch television in everyday life. Whilst audience research has traditionally privileged an understanding of how audiences ‘read’ texts based on semiotics, this research proposes understanding meaning as pragmatically established through interaction with television. This approach lends itself to some genres more than others, but it might also help us to understand the uses of developing platforms in television within everyday life.
Wood, H (2007) ‘The Mediated Conversational Floor: An interactive approach to audience reception analysis’. Media, Culture and Society 29(1): 75-103. ISSN 0163-4437 (OBJECT TEXT)
Wood, H. (2007) ‘Television is Happening: Methodological Considerations for Capturing Digital Television Reception’ European Journal of Cultural Studies 10 (4): 485-506 ISSN 1367-5494
Horton, D and R. R. Wohl (1956) “Mass Communication and Para-Social Interaction: Observations on Intimacy at a Distance.” , Psychiatry 19 (1956), 215-229. Reprinted in John Corner Introduction to Communication Studies.
McElroy, R. and Williams. R. (2011) ‘Remembering Ourselves, Viewing the Others: historical reality television and celebrity in the small nation’, Television and New Media, 12 (3), pp.187-206.
Wood, H (2005) ‘Texting the Subject: Women, Television and Modern Self-reflexivity’ Communication Review 8:2 pp.115-135. ISSN 1071-4421
Wood, H (2009) Talking With Television University of Illinois Press, Urbana. (single authored monograph) 978-0-252-03391-9
Wood, H. (2008) With Beverley Skeggs and Nancy Thumim, ‘Oh goodness, I am watching Reality TV’: How methods make class in multi-method audience research. European Journal of Cultural Studies 11 (1): 5-24. ISSN 1367-5494
Wood, H (2010) ‘From Media and Identity to Mediated Identity’ in Wetherell, Margaret and Mohanty, Chandra Talpade (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Identities, London and New York: Sage ISBN 978-1-412-93411-4
Wood, H (2012) with Beverley Skeggs Reacting to Reality Television: Audience, Performance and Value London and New York: Routledge. 978-0-415-69370-7
Wood, H (2014) ‘Active Audiences and Uses and Gratifications’ in Handbook of Television Studies Toby Miller, Milly Buannano and Jonathan Gray (eds.) London, Sage.
Lecture 9: Are audiences dead in the age of the Internet?
Are audiences dead in the age of new media? Or are there key similarities between the active, interpretive, critical and resistant ‘audiencing’ done in the acts of listening to the radio, reading the news, watching a film and uploading content on YouTube? Which similarities and differences are important? The lecture will discuss recent theoretical and empirical approaches to audiences in a digital era.
Das, R (2011) “Converging perspectives in audience studies and digital literacies: youthful interpretations of an online genre.” European Journal of Communication, 26: 4, 343-360 (OBJECT TEXT)
Madianou, M. and Miller, D. (2012) ‘Polymedia: towards a new theory of digital media in interpersonal communication’, International Journal of Cultural Studies.
Baym, N. (2010) Personal Connections in a Digital Age. Cambridge: Polity.
Berker, T., Hartmann, M. Punie, Y and Ward, K. (eds) (2006) Domestication of Media and Technology. Open University Press.
Couldry, N. (2011) ‘The necessary future of the audience… and how to research it’. Nightingale, V. (ed.) Handbook of Media Audiences, Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, pp. 213-229
Cruz, J. & Justin Lewis (1994): Viewing, Reading, Listening: Audiences and Cultural Reception. Boulder, CO: Westview
Hepp, A. (2012) ‘Mediatization and the moulding force of the media’, Communications, 37 (1): 1-28.
Holmes, S. (2004). “But this time you choose” Approaching the “interactive” audience in reality TV. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 7(2), 213-231.
Hutchby, I. (2001) ‘Technologies, Texts and Affordances’, Sociology, 35: 441-456.
Jenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture. Where old and new media collide. New York: NYU Press.
Tyre-Arne, B. (2011). “I want to hold it in my hands”: readers’ experiences of the phenomenological differences between women’s magazines online and in print. Media, Culture & Society, 33(3), 467-477. doi:10.1177/0163443711398766
Final ‘Lecture’ 10: Essay Queries
Hugh Ortega Breton
This final Tuesday session will not be a lecture. Instead, it will be a final opportunity for you to share queries and obtain answers about writing your essay assignment.