Audiences: A Sociological Theory of Performance and by Nick Abercrombie, Brian Longhurst

By Nick Abercrombie, Brian Longhurst

Audiences are challenging and the research of audiences has represented a key website of job within the social sciences and arts. delivering a well timed evaluate of the prior 50 years of theoretical and methodological debate Audiences argues the case for a paradigmatic shift in viewers examine.

This shift, argue the authors, is necessitated by way of the emergence of the `diffused audience'. viewers event can not be easily categorised as `simple' or `mass', for in sleek complicated capitalist societies, individuals are contributors of an viewers for all time. Being a member of an viewers is not any longer a very good occasion, nor even a daily occasion, fairly it really is constitutive of lifestyle. This ebook bargains a useful rev

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Extra info for Audiences: A Sociological Theory of Performance and Imagination

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59) At the same time, the analytical attention shifts from the relatively indeterminate text to the audience. And, for Fiske, it is an audience which is very diverse and hence will produce very varied interpretations of media texts. Late capitalist societies are heterogeneous and consist of a vast range of subcultures and groups. The result is that Any one person, or television viewer, forms a number of shifting alliances within this heterogeneity, she or he enters the social system via differently constituted and shifting social formations.

This is the organizing principle whether the argument is that audiences are constrained by texts or are resistant to them. Much of the work done within the IRP discusses resistance or acquiescence to particular kinds of power relations, especially class relations. Other work treats different forms of power, patriarchal power, for instance. Thus, in her classic study of romance readers, Radway (1987) suggests that the reading of romances both compensates some women for the forms of patriarchal oppression to which they are subject and acts as a form of opposition to that oppression.

But the capacity of the audience to give attention, and to become involved, will vary over time, by the type of performance, and by the medium by which the performance is transmitted. The theatre is a high-attention medium and television is typically low-attention. This general characterization, however, obscures the way in which audiences for these two media can switch from high to low attention and back again during performances depending on all sorts of factors, including the ceremonial quality of the setting and its relative privacy.

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