Module code: MS2004
Module co-ordinator: Dr Natasha Whiteman
In this module you will examine key developments in audience research and consider the cultural, social and economic significance of ‘the audience.’ We 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, we will consider different theoretical approaches to the creativity of audiences, and you will gain a critical perspective on the ways that audiences have been denigrated, feared, courted, and celebrated over time.
We will examine what these changing notions of the audience tell us about the influence of the media, the regulation of media audiences, and the complex relationship between producers and consumers. And we will also consider whether, in an age of digital media and increasing personalisation and individualisation of media content, ‘the audience’ can still be seen to exist.
As well as exploring different theoretical approaches to the audience, you will study the methodological basis of audience studies through a series of key texts a range of case studies. You will also have an opportunity to develop your own critical and analytical skills through the production of a critical review of a piece of audience research.
‘The audience’ as concept
Media effects and the experimental tradition
Sociological and cultural approaches to the audience
Feminist approaches to audience research
Audiences and the public sphere
Audiences and industry
New media audiences
- Lectures and seminars
- Essay (60%)
- Critical review of a piece of audience research (40%)