Audience behaviour has always been a complex but nonetheless essential part of the material framework for theatre or theatrical events. In its extreme forms (e.g., at live wrestling matches, at exuberant and spirited plays, etc.) is more easily identified and also gives the passive observer some inkling as to where the boundaries for decent behaviour in the given society really are. Audiences are increasingly becoming involved in a multi-layered assortment of activities and affections (greatly contrasting in importance and fervour). It is interesting to note that the audience is now intrinsically intertwined with familiar social relations. There is an unravelling of the difference between the audience and the public as these very concepts have increasingly less to do with practices of media production and control over content. For example, thousands of content creators have attained great reach with their resultant media and they are displacing media works from transnational media conglomerates, national broadcasting groups, and other publicly-funded organizations.
One means for understanding audience behaviour is to focus on large body of work pertaining to audience reception theory. Stuart Hall pioneered such studies with the publication of his communication model in the essay Encoding/Decoding (Hall, 1980). Hall utilized semiotics in order to propose a new model of mass communication. In it, he had drawn attention to the significance of active interpretation within relevant codes. Also, the work deemphasized the notion that the media could potently effect a particular behaviour on a person. There are three central tenets to the model: (1) the same event can be encoded in more than one way, (2) the message can contain more than one possible interpretation, and (3) understanding the message can be a vexing process, no matter how natural it might seem. Hall had frequently used examples involving... [continues]
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(2010, 10). Encoding/Decoding Theory as It Relates to the New Media. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Encoding-Decoding-Theory-As-It-Relates-To-428127.html
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