Thursday, 20 October 2011

Stuart Hall- Media Reception Theory

Hall argues that the media appear to reflect reality whilst in fact they construct it. He also addressed theoretically the issue of how people make sense of media texts. In a key paper, 'Encoding/Decoding', Stuart Hall (1980), argued that the dominant ideology is typically inscribed as the 'preferred reading' in a media text, but that this is not automatically adopted by readers. The social situations of readers/viewers/listeners may lead them to adopt different stances. 'Dominant' readings are produced by those whose social situation favours the preferred reading; 'negotiated' readings are produced by those who inflect the preferred reading to take account of their social position; and 'oppositional' readings are produced by those whose social position puts them into direct conflict with the preferred reading Hall insists that there remain limits to interpretation: meaning cannot be simply 'private' and 'individual'.

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