encoding/decoding model

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1. (semiotic model) Any model representing communication as a process of encoding and decoding messages. In information theory, the coding involved is a technical process, but semioticians underline the importance of the production and interpretation of messages/*texts within relevant textual and social codes. The centrality of codes to communication is a distinctive semiotic contribution which emphasizes the social nature of communication and the importance of conventions (though context is seen as equally important in Jakobson's model). Such codes are expected to be largely shared by the participants.

2. Stuart Hall's model of mass communication, also called the circuit of communication (1980). In the context of the production and reception of television news and current affairs programmes, Hall argued that events had to be encoded into televisual stories reflecting an intended meaning. The apparent naturalness of television codes disguises their ideological potential. However transparent such codes may seem to be, they are rich in connotations and require decoding (interpretation). In order to make sense of what we are seeing and hearing, we unconsciously draw on common sense (i.e. what we have in common with those employing such codes) to establish the preferred meaning. Insofar as we accept such framings, we adopt a hegemonic reading. However, Hall rejected textual determinism, noting that decodings do not follow inevitably from encodings. He outlined two less compliant stances: negotiated reading and oppositional reading, which could be argued to be a form of re-coding. They are linked to such reception factors as class, gender, ethnicity, interpretive repertoires, and context.

http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/sem08c.html Encoding/decoding

Subjects: Media Studies.

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