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The Labour of Media Use: The Two Active Audiences
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Communication, Media and Communication Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0216-8862
2011 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The 'active audience' has theoretically been conceptualised from two perspectives: in political economy, from Smythe to Andrejevic it is suggested that television audiences work for the networks while watching. Although contested it has survived among television scholars, also feeding into the discussion on web surveillance techniques. The other conceptualisation comes from reception theory, where the interpretive work by audiences is seen as resulting in identities, taste cultures and social difference. This paper relates these perspectives by considering audiences as involved in two production-consumptions circuits: [1] the viewer activities produces social difference (identities, cultural meaning) in a social and cultural economy, which is then [2] made the object of productive consumption as part of the activities of the media industry, the end product being economic profit. The paper argues for the relevance of analysing these as separate circuits, and that recent debate on the active audience has misrecognised the difference.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-22652OAI: diva2:704045
ICA annual conference ”Communication @ the Centre”, Boston, 25-30 May, 2011
Swedish Research Council

Published on ICA's website. Access for members only.

Available from: 2014-03-11 Created: 2014-03-11 Last updated: 2016-09-22Bibliographically approved

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