Unanswered Questions in Audience research

Morley, David G.. 2006. Unanswered Questions in Audience research. The Communication Review, 9(2), pp. 101-121. ISSN 10714421 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

As its title implies, this article explores a number of unanswered questions and outstanding issues in contemporary audience research. These include: models of the “active audience”; questions of cultural power; global media and transnational audiences; methodologies in audience research; problems of essentialism in the conceptualization of categories of audience members; the strengths and limitations of the encoding/decoding model; models of intellectual progress in the field; the new media and technologies of “newness.” My title is derived from Bertolt Brecht's “Anecdotes of Mr Keuner” in which he extols the virtue of thinking up questions to which we do not have answers (Brecht, 1966). Working from this principle, rather than trying to formulate solutions to the problems of our field, my contribution here is based on questions in media audience research to which I, at least, do not have the answers, as a way of taking stock of what exactly it is that we think we now know about the field.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


April 2006Published

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Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2009 15:42

Last Modified:

11 Jan 2019 14:37

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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