AS Media Studies – The “Readings” of a Text


The “Readings” of a Text

The “readings” of a text are what an audience would say about a particular text (e.g. Print advert, TV show, etc).

There are 3 types of “readings” when studying a text:

Preferred Readings – What the text wants the audience to do.

Negociated Readings – You accept the message of the text, but you don’t believe that it is appropriate to yourself.

Oppositional Readings – You don’t accept the Preferred Readings of the text.

Preferred Readings are normally straightforward to understand.

Oppositional Readings are the 2nd easiest to understand.

Think Negociated Readings last.

The Readings stated above and the audience’s response are very similar.

The Readings for this Sony Ericsson print advert:

Preferred Readings –

Men can say “Yes! I can see all the goals on my phone!”

The text wants us to feel sorry for the women, given that they are being ignored by the men, who are so focused on watching the goals.

We are attracted to the product, because of the Cover Line “Win £100,000 and watch all the goals first with Xperia”.

Oppositional Readings –

The women are thinking “This product isn’t for me”.

There is also clear emphasis that this product also isn’t suited to non-football fans.

Negociated Readings –

The women are thinking “Great (!) He’s focusing more on the sport than he is on me!”.

The audience could think that, because this product is relying on giveaways and prizes, it could be a “dodgy” product. In other words, it isn’t selling its looks. Its selling the prizes.

The Readings for “Vatos” (Series 1, Episode 4 of “The Walking Dead”)

Preferred Readings –

This text makes us feel sympathetic towards the characters who have lost their loved ones due to the Zombie attack.

Be careful how you racially stereotype groups of people. In this case, there is a stereotype that “all Hispanic males are part of gangs”. However, in “Vatos”, the gang turn out to be guarding a hidden nursing home in a warehouse.

The men in this episode need to save the children. This reinforces the stereotype that men are the dominant and stronger gender, and that they are the women’s “knight in shining armour”.

Oppositional Readings –

All the stereotypes in this episode are correctly presented.

Feminists would say that the women don’t need saving by the men. This opposes the stereotype mentioned above. This stereotype is also sexist against women.

Negociated Readings – 

The attack that happens at the end of the episode is seen as “sad but contrived”. In other words, this attack is a sad occasion, but the audience knew that it was going to happen.


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: