n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Approaches to understanding the relationship between texts and audiences

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0250-0167



Ever since the conservative mass culture critics, in the late 1800s, articulated their negative reactions to the related processes of industrialization, urbanization, and the emergence of contemporary forms of mass media, theorists have been concerned with the relationship between texts and their audiences, and in particular, as Silverstone (1990) notes, of the effects of the media on their moral, political and economic lives. It is a history that oscillates between continents and perspectives, between those theories which stress textual power over audiences and those which stress audience power over texts.

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