Interpreting Audiences: The Ethnography of Media Consumption

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In this comprehensive guide to important new developments in the study of media reception, Shaun Moores reviews a wide range of qualitative audience research and charts the emergence of a critical ethnographic perspective on everyday consumer practices. The author considers the distinctive features of audience ethnography and outlines its applications in communication and cultural analysis. Four main areas of inquiry are discussed: the power of media texts to determine the meanings made by their readers; the relationship between media genres and the social patterns of taste; the day-to-day settings and dynamic social situations of reception; and the cultural uses and interpretations of communication technologies in the home. Assessing the theories of Bourdieu, De Certeau and others, as well as drawing on his own investigations of new media technologies in domestic contexts, Moores advances a model of creativity and constraint in everyday life.