M87MC-Media Audiences

2015-16 Iteration: “The audience is an illusion” M87MC Media Audiences 2015-16

This module examines the construct of ‘the audience’ as produced by the field of audience studies within the disciplinary boundaries of media and cultural studies.

The module will explore how the academic literature interprets the relationship between specific audiences and texts. We will focus on a selection of ethnographic academic articles, and discuss in depth their theoretical and methodological approach. We will see how research can talk (or not) in terms of subcultures, identities, affects; we will examine how we produce ideas of gendered, classed and sexed audiences; we will discuss how different ontologies, epistemologies and methodologies produce different types of analytical knowledge. We will pay special attention to the assumptions and limitations of English-speaking Western scholarship.

We will focus on the following articles:

  • Allen, K. and Mendick, H. (2012) “Keeping it Real? Social Class, Young People and ‘Authenticity’ in Reality TV” Sociology 47(3) 460–476
  • Brennan, J. (2014) “ ‘Fandom is Full of Pearl-clutching Old Ladies’: Nonnies in the Online Slash closet” International Journal of Cultural Studies 17(4) 363–380
  • Chan, B. and Xueli, W. (2011) “Of Prince Charming and Male Chauvinist Pigs: Singaporean Female Viewers and the Dream-world of Korean Television Dramas” International Journal of Cultural Studies 14:3 (291-305).
  • Parameswaran, R. (2002) “Reading Fictions of Romance: Gender, Sexuality, and Nationalism in Postcolonial India” Journal of Communication 52 (4): 832–851.

Your final coursework will model one of the approaches and themes discussed in the articles to perform a mini-ethnographical research project. As such, you will need to refer to the MA research method modules.


This module is part of the MA course in Communication, Culture and Media at Coventry University. For more information on the course: comcultmed.wordpress.com