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text-reader relations


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The participatory roles and relationships of the addresser and addressee for a text in any medium. This often includes narrator–audience and writer–reader (or producer–user) relations and is often formulated as writer-text-reader relations. Stuart Hall's encoding-decoding model of mass communication broke away from dominant sender-receiver transmission models by allowing for the reader's contestation of the preferred meaning (see also dominant reading; negotiated reading; oppositional reading). Traditional text-reader relations are also transgressed when a textual format allows readers to contribute to shaping the text, as in interactive fiction or computer games (see ergodic). Different genres involve different communicative contracts or sets of expectations for producer–audience relationships. Informational texts foregrounding content offer less scope for interpretation than aesthetic texts foregrounding form. See also active audience theory; mode of address; open and closed texts; point of view; readerly; writerly; compare communicative relationships.

Subjects: Media Studies.


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