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This subject examines diverse understandings of audiences and introduces research approaches to investigating audience practices and patterns of consumption in a changing media landscape. It provides a detailed understanding of the different ways in which questions of media impact and audience power have been theorised, conceptualised and examined across the history of media research. Students will be encouraged to deepen their understanding of contemporary audience research methodologies from both administrative and critical points of views and to develop critical evaluation skills deployed in relation to these. Approaches examined will include early media effects studies rooted in the behavioural paradigm, and sociological studies of public beliefs and opinion formation, as well as political economy of globalisation and its (re)construction of audiences and approaches inspired by cultural studies that explore audiences as culturally situated and as active sense makers. Students will consider different audiences, media and genres across the course and engage in focused study of selected audiences and processes of reception.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- demonstrate high level of understanding of key studies and major theoretical frameworks deployed in the analysis of media audiences and processes of reception;
- identify how changing frameworks of analysis and conceptualisation of 'audiences' prompt different questions and forms of analysis deployed in both industrial and academic research and how these have changed over time; and
- critically evaluate research-based studies of audiences that are inspired by different theoretical frameworks and approaches.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:
- be able to understand diverse forms of cultural practices and interactions in relation to historical and social context;
- be able to demonstrate skills in research and critical evaluation;
- be able to present ideas in both verbal and written form and in conformity to conventions of academic presentation; and
- be able to apply effective cross-cultural communication skills in group discussions and everyday interactions.
Last updated: 3 November 2022