culture and communication

Topics: Encoding, Encoder, Decoding Pages: 10 (2667 words) Published: April 17, 2014
How is Stuart Hall’s “encoding/decoding” model an advance on the traditional “transmission” model of communication? How does it change conventional views of how media products are consumed? As a transmission theory scholar studying in mass-communication research, Hall put forward “encoding and decoding “model which brings big effects and shocks the traditional transmission model. The traditional model divides the message sending into three parts, sender- message- receiver. It is called linearity feature. The message is transmitted in a certain way. However, Hall has a different idea about this. He divided it into five parts. The basic view of Hall’s encoding and decoding communication model is that the media device pays more attention to production, circulation, distribution or consumption, and reproduction rather than transmitting a message in a direct way (Gurevitch, Scannell, 2003: 139). It is more complex than the traditional model. To initiate, Stuart Hall was profoundly and lasting impacted by Marxist theory, Barthes’s semiology and structuralism. His cultural and communication theory is deeply derived from Marxist theory with which he has modified the basic of media from of send-message-receive towards an alternative system (ibid, 2003). In this essay, I will talk about how Stuart Hall’s encoding and decoding model an advance on the traditional transmission model of communication. I mainly use comparison way to explain the advance of Hall’s model. There are mainly four parts. In the first part, I will talk about the first step, sending and production and deeply explain how the production step contains message sender’s ideology. In the second part, I will focus on circulation and distribution by analyzing Barthes’s semiology and culture discourse in it and how does the ideology of the code transform to the audiences. In the third part, I will talk about decoding part and analyze three forms of decoding which presents how audiences receive the messages. Finally, I will provide two reasons to explain how encoding and decoding model change conventional views of how media products are consumed. Traditional transmission model has conceptualized the process of communication in a linearity feature, sender- message- receiver. This model has been argued by Stuart Hall (1999) that it cannot be seen as a complex structure of relations because it focus on the directly message exchange and be short of the conception of structure in the diverse moments and situations. It means that the traditional transmission model is simple and does not consider a more complex situation in each stage and even doesn’t consider the feedback part of the transmission. Moreover, traditional model focus on one level and one audience group. The communication model no longer limits the model of the linearity feature. It develops because of time variation and communication development. He put forward “encoding and decoding” theory and sufficient reasons to explain the process of mass-communication. In traditional way, the sender conveys messages without thinking of the sender himself. The sender is seen simply as a message transmitter who doesn’t have any subjective emotions. However, Hall’s model suggests the first stage-production is regarded as information encoding. It means that sender will encode the message or information which reflects their own or dominant ideology. Therefore, one advance of this model is that it is not only a beginning of a message, but also an encoding process of the message. Nowadays, most of media messages are controlled and conveyed by media journalisms or big companies. When sending a message, they used to encode the message by injecting the ideology which they want audients to accept. For example, CCTV News that played in every evening broadcast daily news which happened at the same day to audiences. Under normal conditions, the news mentions the outstanding achievement of communism and avoids advertising benefits of...

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McQuail, D. (1994) Mass Communication Theory: An Introduction. London: Sage Publications
Stuart H (1999) “Encoding, Decoding”, in Simon During, The Culture Studies Reader, Routledge, pp. 508. Available at: [12 April 2013]
Stuart H (2002) Representation: Culture Representation and Signifying Practices, Sage Publication, pp. 62
The Glaring Facts (2011) Stuart Hall Encoding- Decoding Model, Available at: [12 April 2013]
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“Encoding/Decoding” In E. Katz, Canonic texts in media research: Are there any? Should there be? How about these? pp. 231-248 Cambridge: Polity Pres
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