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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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23

Audiences as Citizens

Insights from Three Decades of Reception Research

Kim Christian Schrøder

ABSTRACT

This chapter traces the insights about citizenship offered by audience reception research since its inception in the 1980s, through a theoretical and analytical portrait of five historical stages of reception research about mediated citizenship: (1) hegemonic citizenship; (2) monitorial citizenship; (3) popular citizenship; (4) participatory citizenship; and (5) ubiquitous citizenship. Maintaining a strong empirical commitment throughout, mostly to the findings of qualitative research, the chapter also reports substantially from recent and ongoing reception research into the ways in which the news media – and popular and entertainment media in a broader sense – may serve as resources for a political and cultural citizenship that is anchored in everyday life. The five stages of reception research, conceptualized as scientific paradigms, are modeled into a historical typology that synthesizes, for each historical stage, its aims, its theoretical foundation, the preferred methods, the key scholars, and the approximate year in which the paradigm became visible in the scholarly landscape.

The moment one starts to talk about citizenship, one is also inevitably talking about political rights, political and cultural power, and political and cultural identities. Citizenship in a democracy has to do with being and feeling like the member of a political entity such as a nation (Anderson, ...

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