Matthew Hills

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A significant amount of media criticism has involved the empirical study of audiences, predominantly film and TV viewers given that this mode of scholarship arose in the 1970s. The question of understanding audience activities remains important for the media industries just as much as for scholars, with digital technologies, especially the Internet and streaming platforms. Audiences have also been placed in broader intellectual, philosophical currents such as the trans-disciplinary emergence of "post-structuralism" in the academy during the 1970s and 1980s. Major modes of audience studies have tended to focus on audiences' interpretations and identities. The focus on audiences' interpretations has its roots in the encoding/decoding model set out by Stuart Hall in a much-applied essay. Audiences perform their identities through the tastes they display and the media texts they value. Audience studies can also challenge kinds of grand theory and theoretical ventriloquism whereby audiences are rigidly objectified, spoken for again, and defined as lacking in self-knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Craft of Criticism
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Media Studies in Practice
EditorsMichael Kackman, Mary Celeste Kearney
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781315879970, 9781134749164
ISBN (Print)9780415716291, 9780415716307
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2018


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