Essay The Role of the Audiences in Culture

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Introduction
In an examination of the role of audiences in culture, several key terms must first be established. The definition of 'culture' discussed in this research is 'culture as a particular way of life' and 'as signifying practices' (Williams, 1983). 'Active participants' refers to people who can 'freely and consciously exercise decision-making capacities' when it comes to their interpretation of culture and cultural products (Kirchberg, 2007). Structuralism, is defined as a way of understanding how 'all texts ... and all signifying practices can be analysed for their underlying structures' (Phillips, 2013). I will first examine structuralism in relation to popular culture.
Structuralism and its Strengths
Saussure, "father" of
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Introduction
In an examination of the role of audiences in culture, several key terms must first be established. The definition of 'culture' discussed in this research is 'culture as a particular way of life' and 'as signifying practices' (Williams, 1983). 'Active participants' refers to people who can 'freely and consciously exercise decision-making capacities' when it comes to their interpretation of culture and cultural products (Kirchberg, 2007). Structuralism, is defined as a way of understanding how 'all texts ... and all signifying practices can be analysed for their underlying structures' (Phillips, 2013). I will first examine structuralism in relation to popular culture.
Structuralism and its Strengths
Saussure, "father" of Structuralism, created the concept of 'signs', 'signifiers' and 'signified'. The combination of signifiers and signified produces signs with which we associate meaning and derive understanding (Saussure and Bally et al., 1974). This relationship in any given language is created through cultural agreement. The marking of differences, or introduction of binary opposites (eg. day and night), enables us to make sense of human behaviour. The provision of a basic structure for understanding helps people to comprehend society, i.e. popular culture, with rules and structures which we can rely upon to derive meaning (Storey, 2009).
These structures include the syntagmatic and paradigmatic axis, where meaning is accumulated on the former and is continual,
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