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The theory states that media texts are
encoded by the producer meaning that
whoever produces the text fills the product
with values and messages.
The text is then decoded by the audience.
Different spectators will decode the text in
different ways, not always in the way the
A text can be received in one of three ways;
Dominant or Preferred Reading
This is when the text is read in the way the
producer intended the text to be read.
The audience agree with the messages and
ideology that the producer has placed behind the
The audience will view the text in the way the
producer wanted them to.
Overall this is a positive thing for the producer
of the text as it means their advertisement has
been successful as to get across the messages
and values the producer wanted.
Example: a handbag that looks appealing to a
female reader encouraging her to want to go out
and buy it.
Audience is the same age so they relate to
From the same culture
Easy to understand the narrative and they
can relate to the narrative in some way
Relevant to the audiences society
Audience are choosing to consume the
product so must have a reason to like it in
the first place.
This is a compromise between the dominant
reading and the oppositional reading of the text.
The audience accepts the views of the producer
but also has their own input and understanding
of the text.
They do not agree or disagree, they can however
see a point being made in relation to the reading
while also making their own opinions.
Overall this is a good response to an advert as it
is still getting the message the producer wanted
to get across, even if the reader is also making
making their own judgment.
Example: they see a handbag advertised and
think it looks nice but could not justify spending
the amount of money it would cost.
The audience may not have the same life
May not understand the narrative so cannot
relate to it in a meaningful way
Age may vary the reading and understanding
Do not understand all of the messages
making it unclear what the dominant reading
is supposed to be
The audience rejects the producers preferred
reading and creates their own reading of the
text, usually this is the opposite of what the
The reader rejects the meaning completely as
they do not agree with the message that is being
presented to the audience.
Overall this is a bad response to get to an advert
as it will mean the people who view it will not
want to buy the product and do not agree with
the producers ideologies and messages.
Example: an advertisement for a handbag is
rejected completely as the reader believes the
advert is stereotyping woman and categorising
them on their appearance.
The product has controversial themes
The audience disagree with the messages of
Dislike the genre
Cannot relate to the narrative structure
Is not reflective of their society
Different cultures have different