In semiotic models of communication, the person who comprehends and interprets texts/messages with reference to appropriate textual and social codes. Relating the message to codes requires the decoder to actively construct meaning rather than to simply ‘extract’ it from the text (contrast literalism). The codes employed by the decoder may depend at least in part on their socioeconomic identity—as in Morley's study of the Nationwide audience, a UK television news programme. See also addressee; receiver; compare encoder.
Subjects: Media Studies.