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ERIC Number: ED319084
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Oct-31
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Reading Meta-Television: A New Model for Reader-Response Criticism.
Olson, Scott R.
Many current models of television viewing regard viewers either as passive receptors, active participants, or addled dupes. A study proposed a more flexible model for television viewing research. The study used the television program "St. Elsewhere," an example of "meta-television" (television programming which contains hidden references to song lyrics, movies, television, and other elements of popular culture). Thirty-seven subjects were given a questionnaire which asked about television viewing habits, familiarity with "St. Elsewhere" and other programs, and attitudes toward television viewing. Respondents then watched "St. Elsewhere's" final episode, "The Fat Lady Sings," which was full of hidden references. While 72% of respondents reported liking the show and 69% disagreed with the assertion that "this show confused me," many were unaware of the hidden references. Each viewer perceived the show somewhat differently, in a process of reception that was found to be difficult, even impossible, to articulate. Further methodological testing of the "reception theory" hypothesis is required, including larger samples and more accurately cross-referenced data on television viewing patterns, personal habits, and the kinds of responses they elicit. (Five tables of data are included; 18 references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A