Media & Society: 05

Audience and Reception Theories

Society pre-exists the individualSociety pre-exists the individual

This session looks at approaches to Audiences’ and media consumption’by audiences. How do we define an audience? Does everyone involved think of audiences in the same way? How have attitudes towards the mass audience’ changed over time?

We also look at the idea of media effects’, that is, the idea that the media’ has an effect on the audience’.


Prepare by reading McQuail chapter 15, download pdf below.


Download slides - PDF


Ch15 Audience Theory and Research Traditions”, McQuail, D. (2010) Mass Communication Theory. SAGE, London.

Download PDF

Extra Material

If you’re interested in a shorter summary of some of the important ideas connected to audience research, this paper might be useful!

Hirzalla, F. and van Zoonen, L. (2017). Media effects: Methods of critical audience studies. In Rössler, P., Hoffner, C. A., and van Zoonen, L., editors, The International Encyclopedia of Media Effects. Wiley.


Some organisations mentioned this week

JABC - Japan Audit Bureau of Circulations

International Fed. of ABCs

BARB - British TV and Radio ratings

Bandura et al - TV & Violence’ Experiments

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