4) Reception Theory
This theory pushed the concept of active audiences even further. In the 1980s and 1990s, extensive research was done, looking into the way individuals receive and interpret texts. Also their age/gender/social class/ethnicity effects how they read the text.
This theory is based upon the findings of Stuart Hall.
Stuart Hall looked at this relationship between text and the audience, he believed that the media texts have messages encoded into them by its producer and the audience decodes that messages. The codes, however, can be read in a multitude of different ways. However, when the producer uses codes/ techniques that are easily recognised the audience will find it easier to decode. By using the reception theory, the producers can position the audience, they expect certain things from a certain genre for instance or a certain type of film from an actor and so on. It is almost like an unspoken agreement between those that make the media texts and the viewers, agreeing upon what the code means. This is known as preferred reading.