Definition[ edit ] A social construct or construction concerns the meaning, notion, or connotation placed on an object or event by a society, and adopted by the inhabitants of that society with respect to how they view or deal with the object or event. A major focus of social constructionism is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the construction of their perceived social reality. It involves looking at the ways social phenomena are developed, institutionalizedknown, and made into tradition by humans.
Preferred Reading the mainstream or dominant culture reading. Easy to decode due to their mainstream nature. We are all familiar with mass culture and its stereotypes.
We all get the point. Emphasized by mass culture theorists like Hal Himmelstein as a key source of mass consciousness.
Alternative Reading, or Oppositional reading. Rarely considered by mainstream audiences. To use an alternative reading means that one is actively rejecting the preferred reading. Emphasized by John Fiske.
Decoding Media and Social Location Hal Himmelstein argues that the corporate media promote the dominant ideology of capitalism so thoroughly that capitalism acquires a taken-for-grantedness. Opposing economic ideologies are no longer even considered. When no other ideologies are considered, what does this suggest about whether audiences are active or passive?
There has been some research into how active or passive audiences tend to be. Ones social locations ie white, conservative Christian, male, older function as mediators of the interpretive process.
They do not determine how we think, but they shape our thoughts. We use our own social statuses to help decode media messages.
Media messages can be seen as codes that emanate from certain social locations. Understanding these codes requires knowledge of the assumptions and meanings used by the people in that particular subculture. Mainstream culture is easy to decode Since we are all familiar with mass culture themes, our ability to interpret mass media messages is extensive.
Decoding is easy here.
Mainstream media messages draw upon cultural codes that do not need to be articulated they are already taken for granted. We learn to see blond hair and blue eyes as pretty without questioning their underlying assumptions.
Again, decoding preferred readings is easy. The question is, who tends to agree with the preferred readings and who doesnt? The research suggests that the social location of the audience social class, race, sex, etc influences who agrees and who disagrees with the preferred readings.
This is a critical insight for John Fiske. Fiske argues that alternative readings tend to be made by people in subordinate social locations, and the research is supportive of his thesis.
Both watched the same program, but had different interpretations based on their social locations. Union workers were in a subordinate social location compared with managers. Managers tended to adopt the preferred readings because it fit with their common sense view of the world, while union workers saw the TV coverage as biased toward management.
Union workers were more open to alternative readings.
Meanings are class-stratified, but not in isomorphic or highly predictable ways.What is the fund? The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund aims to bring together the UK’s world-leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time.
The PowerPoint PPT presentation: "Chapter 8: Active Audiences and the Construction of Meaning" is the property of its rightful owner. Active Audiences & the Construction of Meaning "Media messages are central to everyday lives Audiences are active interpreters of meaning." "Audiences interpret media in diverse ways.”().
People in the media industry believe that the audience is a mass of passive readers who accept media messages uncritically. Nevertheless, the. Social constructionism is a theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that examines the development of jointly constructed understandings of the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality.
The theory centers on the notion that meanings are developed in coordination with others rather than separately within each individual. Bible Study Methods Spring Page 3 involved personally with us and is not merely impersonally dropping commandments on us from on high.2 This is what also makes bible study necessary.
Active Audiences and the Construction of Meaning Meanings: The role of semiotics Polysemy/Agency Interpretive Constraints/Structure Decoding media The Nationwide study (Morley) Women watching television (Press) Race Cross-cultural readings Reading the romance (Radway).