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  Those people watching or reading an image or text. In a key paper, Burgess (1990) argues that there are four interconnected sites at which their meanings are made or remade: the sites of the production, where meanings are encoded; the symbolic language of the text or image; the sites of consumption where audiences decode those meanings; and the audiences\' everyday lives. Burgess (1990, p. 140) insists that \'there is no necessary equivalence between … sets of encodings and decodings\', because, despite the structuring constraints of production and language, audiences bring their own understandings to an image or a text and may renegotiate the meanings made at other sites.

This emphasis is stressed in much work with television audiences. Morley (1986), for example, shows the ways in which specific audiences, themselves produced by relations of social Identity such as class, gender, race and sexuality, as well as by the specific circumstances of their viewing or reading of a particular text or image, actively engage with televisual representations of those identities, sometimes affirming them and sometimes contesting them. Many studies of film audiences, however, have placed less emphasis on the social identity brought to the film and more on the subjectivity produced by it. Often drawing on aspects of semiotic and psychoanalytic theory, discussions of film have examined the psychic pleasures and horrors offered to particular spectators by a film\'s visual and aural organization. However, more recently these two emphases have converged somewhat. Some writers are attempting to specify more carefully the socio-cultural specificity of psychic processes, while others advocate a theoretical concern with questions of subjective desire and fantasy as an antidote to the reification and reproduction of existing categories of social difference (Mayne, 1993). Geographers and others drawing on these debates have considered audiences\' complex and sometimes contradictory engagement with the geographies represented by a text or image (Lutz and Collins, 1993), as well as the geographies through which the text or image is encountered (Friedberg, 1993). Some geographers have also considered the implications of these arguments for their own production of texts (Keith, 1992), arguing the need both to consider to which audiences a piece of work is addressed and to remember that the reactions of those audiences are not under the author\'s control. Nevertheless, Burgess\'s (1990) demand that geographers pay more attention to the audiences of texts and images still remains valid. (See also media, geography of; hermeneutics; performance.) (GR)

References Burgess, J. 1990: The production and consumption of environmental meanings in the mass media. Transactions, Institute of British Geographers NS 15: 139-6 1; Friedberg, A. 1993: Window shopping: cinema and spectatorship. Berkeley: University of California Press; Keith, M. 1992: Angry writing: (re)presenting the unethical world of the ethnographer. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 10: 551-68; Lutz, C.A. and Collins, J.L. 1993: Reading National Geographic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; Mayne, J. 1993: Cinema and spectatorship. London: Routledge; Morley, D. 1986: Family television: cultural power and domestic leisure. London: Comedia.



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