Stuart Hall - Audience Positioning

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  • 1. Stuart Hall–Encoding/Decoding
    • Stuart Hall is a cultural theorist and Professor of Sociology at the Open University.
  • Stuart Hall looked at the role of audience positioning in the interpretation of mass media texts by different social groups. Hall came up with a model suggesting three ways in which we may read amedia text:
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2. Encoding and decoding
  • Dominant reading - reader fully acceptsthe preferred reading(audience will read the text the way the author intended them to) so that the code seems natural and transparent.
  • The negotiated reading– the reader partly believes the code and broadly accepts the preferred reading, but sometimes modifies it in a way which reflects their own position, experiences and interests. 
  • The oppositional reading– the readers social position places them in an oppositional relation to the dominant code. They reject the reading.
3. Media Power
  • Hall was concerned with media power, including how it propagates particular social values, to createdominant ideologies(in other words framing public debate surrounding certain issues; e.g. the role of women in society, asylum and immigration, the welfare system, the monarchy etc...)
  • He believes that the mass media create and define issues of public concern and interest throughaudience positioning .
  • Polysemy - is the capacity for a text to havemultiple meanings. It is to do with how individuals interpret anddecode readingsin different contexts and cultures.
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For A2 Film students