By Ien Ang
Thousands of individuals worldwide are avid individuals of the tv viewers. but, regardless of the primary position tv occupies in modern tradition, our figuring out of its advanced and dynamic function in lifestyle continues to be unusually restricted. concentrating on the tv viewers, Ien Ang asks why we comprehend so little approximately its nature, and argues that our lack of knowledge arises at once out of the biases inherent in winning reputable wisdom approximately it. She units out to deconstruct the assumptions of this professional wisdom by means of exploring the territory the place it really is almost always produced - the tv institutions.Ang attracts on Foucault's idea of power/knowledge to scrutinize television's determined look for the viewers, and to spot ameliorations and similarities within the ways of yankee advertisement tv and ecu public provider tv to their audiences. She appears to be like conscientiously at contemporary advancements within the box of scores learn, specifically the arguable creation of the `people meter' as an tool for measuring the tv viewers. by means of defining the boundaries and obstacles of those institutional tactics of information creation, Ien Ang opens up new avenues for knowing tv audiences. Her ethnographic point of view at the tv viewers provides new insights into our tv tradition, with the viewers noticeable now not as an item to be managed, yet as an energetic social topic, enticing with tv in various cultural and inventive methods.
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Additional info for Desperately Seeking the Audience
Obviously he has anticipated the call, because he is immediately wide awake and has a pen and preprinted sheet of paper at hand. After a curt ‘Good morning’, he begins furiously writing numbers on a sheet. These are Nielsen rating numbers for the preceding Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights being read to him by a research department employee in New York. The man in Beverly Hills is the network’s program vice president preparing himself for today’s possible repercussions from those rating figures.
Whatever information, images or beliefs about the television audience are constructed within television institutions, they always draw upon the assumption that ‘television audience’ is a separate category of people, objectively distinguishable from the non-audience. Representing ‘television audience’ as a taxonomic collective enables those working within the institutions to imagine the audience as variable in specific features but nevertheless absolute in its given existence as object ready to be conquered, just as the ‘Orient’, as Said (1985) has shown, is constituted as an ontologically stable fact in the discourses of Orientalism.
Writing about problems of cultural description and representation in anthropology, James Clifford (1986:10) has noted, ‘“cultures” do not hold still for their portraits. ’ The same thing happens to the social world of actual audiences, I argue, when ‘television audience’ is conceptualized as a taxonomic collective, holding still for its portrait. How television institutions construct such portraits, and the difficulties they encounter in the process, is plotted in the next two parts of this book.
Desperately Seeking the Audience by Ien Ang