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By Klaus Jensen

This is often the 1st quantity that covers using qualitative study tools in mass media learn. Theoretical insights are integrated from discourse research, ethnography and reception idea.

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The concept of interpretive repertoires, or interpretive communities, which recent work has introduced into literary, cultural, and communication studies (Fish, 1979; Jensen, 1987; 1991; Lindlof, 1988; Radway, 1984), may help to re-establish the link between social science and discourse analysis. (The concept of interpretive repertoires will be preferred here, because it implies that audiences are not formal groups or communities, but contextually defined agents who employ such repertoires to make preliminary sense.

The decisive theoretical issue, of course, is the degree of this relative autonomy, which raises major political issues. Whereas people may draw on frames of understanding outside the dominant social order, both as producers of their own cultural practices and as recipients of mass-mediated culture, in order to assert their difference; the question is whether this discursive difference will make a social difference so as to reform macrosocial institutions or deep-seated everyday practices. Unable to answer this classic question of effects, the structuralist and culturalist trends of cultural studies tend to coexist uneasily.

Finally, several other fields have contributed to “rewording” the humanities. One feature which tends to unite these contributions is the primary attention given to meaning and culture as orienting action in specific social contexts. Oral history, for one, is a reorientation of historical science which has given greater scope for everyday and bottom-up perspectives on history (Thompson, 1978). Some versions of psychology, further, have emphasized that this is a humanistic or “human science” (Polkinghorne, 1988) which examines narrative and other forms of consciousness.

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