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Active Audiences (Paperback) (Helen Wood)
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This book is designed to offer students an accessible and interesting pathway through the various and distinct approaches to audiences in order to demonstrate their relevance to the contemporary media environment. Much emphasis in writing about audience research has been to consider the relationship between passivity and activity, with some media and cultural studies research being criticized for over-celebrating the activity of the audience. This book uses audience action as its framework, aiming to overcome the easy assumptions about the ‘active audience’ as necessarily resistive in order to discuss the ways in which activities are variously connected to questions of power, social location and geography. In doing so it offers an explanatory route through shifts in established paradigms but it always asks how these paradigms might address new research agendas. The book breaks out of traditional organisations of audience studies textbooks which either reinforce distinctions in paradigms or group together key media and genres. Instead, the book is organised around modes of audience activity to cut across these groupings. The chapters structured around a number of verbs which have come to represent some of the changing ways in which audiences have been researched and conceptualised, working towards an agenda for the current media environment.