Stuart Hall (cultural theorist)

Stuart Hall (cultural theorist)

Only important points about Stuart hall and his contributions are framed as per the UGC-NET exam perspective.

  • Stuart Hall was a Jamaican-born British Marxist sociologist, cultural theorist and political activist. He was one of the founding figures of the school of thought is now known as British Cultural Studies or The Birmingham School of Cultural Studies1.
  • He is known for the founder of New Left Review, Articulation, Encoding/decoding model of communication, Reception theory1.
  • The encoding/decoding model of communication was first developed by cultural studies scholar Stuart Hall in 1973.
  • Hall’s theoretical approach was on how media messages are produced, disseminated and interpreted.
  • His model claims that audiences are presented with messages that are decoded, or interpreted in different ways depending on an individual’s cultural background, economic standing and personal experiences.

Preferred/Dominant, Negotiated and Oppositional Readings/Positions by Stuart Hall

Hall claims that reader of media text can identify ideology from three different position or reading.
  • Preferred Reading/Dominant Position- This is seen when audiences respond to product the way media producers want/expect them to means reader interpret and decode the message exactly the way it was encoded.
  • Negotiated Reading/Position- When a member of the audience partly agrees with part of the product is known as Negotiated Reading means this position is a mixture of accepting and rejecting ideologies in the text. For example- Film, documentary, TV programmes.
  • Oppositional Reading/position- This is when the audience are in complete disagreement with the product’s or setting means reader understand the literal meaning but form their own ideological interpretations. The reader’s beliefs are directly oppositional in relation to the dominant code and although they understand the intended meaning, they do not share the text ideology2.

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