Reception analysis: mass communication as the social production of meaning

Authored by: Klaus Bruhn Jensen

A Handbook of Qualitative Methodologies for Mass Communication Research

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  September  2002

Print ISBN: 9781138134867
eBook ISBN: 9780203409800
Adobe ISBN: 9781134938254


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To say that reception analysis draws its theory from the humanities and its methodology from the social sciences is a helpful overstatement introducing this chapter’s argument. The humanities, first, have contributed the conception of mass communication as a cultural practice producing and circulating meaning in social contexts. The social sciences, next, have informed the use of particular modes of empirical inquiry into the process of interaction between mass-mediated messages and their audiences. It is the convergence of these roots, albeit in different forms, which may explain the emergence of a new form of audience research during the 1980s that represents an emphatic articulation of the qualitative turn.

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