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The Handbook of Media Audiences

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8418-2
562 pages
May 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
The Handbook of Media Audiences (1405184183) cover image


This handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the complexity and diversity of audience studies in the advent of digital media.
  • Details the study of audiences and how it is changing in relation to digital media
  • Recognizes and appreciates valuable traditional approaches and identifies how they can be applied to, and evolve with, the changing media world
  • Offers diverse perspectives from which being an audience, theorizing audiences, researching audiences, and doing audience research are approached today
  • Argues that the field works best by identifying particular 'audience problems' and applying the best theories and research methods available to solving them
  • Includes contributions from some of the most outstanding international scholars in the field
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors viii

Series Editor's Preface xiv

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1
Virginia Nightingale

Part I Being Audiences 17

1 Readers as Audiences 19
Wendy Griswold, Elizabeth Lenaghan, and Michelle Naffziger

2 Listening for Listeners: The Work of Arranging How Listening Will Occur in Cultures of Recorded Sound 41
Jackie Cook

3 Viewing 62
Shawn Shimpach

4 Search and Social Media 86
Virginia Nightingale

5 Spreadable Media: How Audiences Create Value and Meaning in a Networked Economy 109
Joshua Green and Henry Jenkins

6 Going Mobile 128
Gerard Goggin

Part II Theorizing Audiences 147

7 Audiences and Publics, Media and Public Spheres 149
Richard Butsch

8 The Implied Audience of Communications Policy Making:
Regulating Media in the Interests of Citizens and Consumers 169
Sonia Livingstone and Peter Lunt

9 New Configurations of the Audience? The Challenges of User-Generated Content for Audience Theory and Media Participation 190
Nico Carpentier

10 The Necessary Future of the Audience … and How to Research It 213
Nick Couldry

11 Reception 230
Cornel Sandvoss

12 Affect Theory and Audience 251
Anna Gibbs

Part III Researching Audiences 267

13 Toward a Branded Audience: On the Dialectic between Marketing and Consumer Agency 269
Adam Arvidsson

14 Ratings and Audience Measurement 286
Philip M. Napoli

15 Quantitative Audience Research: Embracing the Poor Relation 302
David Deacon and Emily Keightley

16 Media Effects in Context 320
Brian O’Neill

17 Cultivation Analysis and Media Violence 340
Andy Ruddock

18 Creative and Visual Methods in Audience Research 360
Fatimah Awan and David Gauntlett

19 Locating Media Ethnography 380
Patrick D. Murphy

Part IV Doing Audience Research 403

20 Children’s Media Cultures in Comparative Perspective 405
Sonia Livingstone and Kirsten Drotner

21 Fan Cultures and Fan Communities 425
Kristina Busse and Jonathan Gray

22 Beyond the Presumption of Identity? Ethnicities, Cultures, and Transnational Audiences 444
Mirca Madianou

23 Participatory Vision: Watching Movies with Yolngu 459
Jennifer Deger

24 The Audience Is the Show 472
Annette Hill

25 Seeking the Audience for News: Response, News Talk, and Everyday Practices 489
S. Elizabeth Bird

26 Sport and Its Audiences 509
David Rowe

Index 527

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Author Information

Virginia Nightingale held the position of Associate Professor with the School of Communication Arts at the University of Western Sydney until retiring in 2010. Now an independent scholar, her publications include Media and Audiences: New Perspectives (with Karen Ross, 2003) and Critical Perspectives: Media and Audiences (with Karen Ross, 2003), and New Media Worlds: Challenges for Convergence (ed. with Tim Dwyer, 2007).
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"This book offers helpful background readings for media research courses. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and above." (Choice, 1 November 2011)

This much needed volume provides the most up-to-date, cutting edge research and scholarship on one of the most researched but still little understood media concepts, that of 'the audience'. Virginia Nightingale has done an excellent job in bringing together a diverse body of contributors who write from various perspectives across medias and theories of audience. Essayists point to the ways in which our relationships with media are entwined with how we think about ourselves as citizens and architects of our own here and now, no longer simply in thrall to other people's versions of the world but creating our own.
- Karen Ross, University of Liverpool

At a time when our relations to media are in flux and established notions of audiences under question, this volume offers an invaluable guide to the state of our present knowledge, the questions we now need to ask, and the concepts and methods we can use to tackle them. Admirably comprehensive and with original contributions from leading scholars in the field this is a volume that everyone should have on their shelf.
- Graham Murdock, Loughborough Univeristy

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