Audience Theory:

A way of understanding Behaviour Management.

This is a post that hopes to organise a range of key approaches to AUDIENCE THEORY into a single page. It is also a post that aims to understand audience theory as behaviour management, because ultimately the media and the use of the media is not neutral or transparent. The very nature of mass mediated communication is to somehow affect behaviour, to make an impact on ideas, attitudes, values and beliefs. And it is the role of media students to engage, uncover and reveal some of the ideas and approaches that underpin that process. This post explores those themes.

The post is structured in two parts – there are page breaks so click on them to move through the topic. Firstly, I set up some ideas for content analysis – and in this post I look at some media texts that are organised around political communication and the media. Secondly, I highlight a range of different audience theories that could be used to understand political communication as well as a range of other media communications: commercial advertising, music, drama, light entertainment, news, social media . . . etc. Overall the intention is to see audience theory as a way of organising, interpreting and understanding the way organisations use the media to manage public behaviour. Or put another way, I am keen to present this post as an insight into ‘the growth and elaboration of behavioural modification as an extension of political power‘ (Zuboff, 2019, p. 320)

This post will adopt an historical perspective towards AUDIENCE THEORY, MEDIA STUDIES and BEHAVIOURAL MANAGEMENT, populated with some useful ideas, tasks, videos and visual references.

As ever, feel free to adapt, adopt, change and edit. I hope it helps 😀!

click on the next page for the first part of this post.

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