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Paying attention to attention: audiences, publics, thresholds and genealogies

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The evolution of media research in the direction of cultural studies led from a focus on spectators and enunciation to a focus on audiences and reception. A third focus was altogether neglected. Rather than studying audiences, even active ones, this paper proposes to study publics. Was the study of publics by media scholars neglected because the notion of audience corresponds so much better to the collective dimension of spectatorship? This paper explores the constitutive features of publics through a comparative approach, as well as the opposition between publics and audiences, and publics in terms of processes and practices.

Keywords: audiences; media studies; political discourse; publics

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jmpr.6.1.9/1

Affiliations: Centre National de la Recherches Scientifique

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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  • The Journal of Media Practice is a peer-reviewed publication addressing practical work in media teaching and research. To this end, the editorial board and consultative panels comprise prominent academics and practitioners from a range of disciplines committed to the achievement of academic and professional ends through means centred on practical work.
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