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I Have Seen the Future and It Is Not Here Yet …; or, On Being Ambitious for Audience Research

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Audience research, after a promising period during which some crucial advances were made, seems to be in decline in several ways, yet its tasks remain as important as ever. This article, originally a presentation at the 2003 Versailles Conference on the Future of Audience Research, makes the case for expanding our vision of the field's possibilities. To do this, it revisits some of the forgotten achievements of the Uses and Gratifications tradition, offers a critique of the dominant “Hall model” for conceiving media/audience relations, and outlines the key concept of an alternative approach: the concept of a “viewing strategy,” which has been at the heart of the 2003–2004 international project on the reception of The Lord of the Rings.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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