Audiences: A Sociological Theory of Performance and Imagination

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`This book is worth reading for a number of reasons. It is the first introductory work of critical audience research that suggests how we can study the connection of media consumption in general with every day life, and it also goes beyond its competitors in showing how postmodern thinking can help us in the analysis of a whole way of life ' - Journal of Communication Audiences are problematic and the study of audiences has represented a key site of activity in the social sciences and humanities. Offering a timely review of the past 50 years of theoretical and methodological debate Audiences argues the case for a paradigmatic shift in audience research. This shift, argue the authors, is necessitated by the emergence of the `diffused audience'. Audience experience can no longer be simply classified as `simple' or `mass', for in modern advanced capitalist societies, people are members of an audience all the time. Being a member of an audience is no longer an exceptional event, nor even an everyday event, rather it is constitutive of everyday life. This book offers an invaluable review of the literature and a new point of departure for audience research.