Studying Audiences: The Shock of the Real
Studying Audiences: The Shock of the Real provides a critical overview of cultural studies research into the television audience. With the development of ethnographic research methods, hailed by Stuart Hall as `a new and exciting phase' in audience research, researchers turned their critical attention to groups of `ordinary people' watching television, combining interviews and participant observation with textual analysis of television programmes. This early research attempted to document the premises of theories of spectatorship and reception.
In a comprehensive analysis of the origins and achievements of the `cultural studies audience experiment', Virginia Nightingale evaluates five projects which helped to shape the field of television audience research, including Charlotte Brunsdon and David Morley's work on Nationwide, Ien Ang's Watching Dallas and David Buckingham's study of EastEnders and its audience.
Nightingale traces how central tenets within audience studies have been challenged by discourses of post-colonialism, fan activism and new theories of writing, arguing that audience research is necessarily a multi-faceted activity.
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The new phase in audience research
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academic agenda analysis Ang's approach audience activity Audience relations audience-text British cultural studies broadcast Brunsdon Buckingham Certeau codes complex concept consumerism consumption context Country Practice critique Crossroads cultural production cultural studies audience cultural totality culturalist Dallas decoding definition demonstrated discourse discourse analysis discussion EastEnders encoding/decoding model ethnographic everyday example explain explored feminist Fiske focus Foucault genre Goffman Hall Hall's Hobson Hoggart ideas ideology of mass interaction interests interpretive interpretive community linked literary literary theory mass audience mass communication mass culture mass media meaning methods Morley Morley's paradigms particular performance perspective pleasure popular culture position problem psychoanalysis Radway reading reception recognised romance novels semiotics sender-message-receiver model sense significance soap opera social structuralist structure of feeling studies audience experiment studies audience research subculture suggested symbolic interactionist textual theoretical theory translation Tulloch and Moran understanding viewers viewing Williams women writing