Method or Madness? Textual analysis in media studies
Havemann, L. (1999). Method or Madness? Textual analysis in media studies. Paper presented at the conference of the Australian & New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand 7-9 July 1998.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8180
Scholarly analyses of media have tended to view the media text (e.g. film / programme / article) as the logical site of enquiry. However, this focus on the text has often resulted in a privileging of the text as the locus of meaning. The validity of textual analysis as a research method has increasingly been called into question due to the influence of poststructuralist theories and the critique of textually-based research emerging from the ‘new audience studies’. In this paper I examine the debates surrounding texts, audiences and meanings from a poststructuralist perspective. I argue that the rethinking of subjectivity achieved by discourse theory provides the key to a new conception of textual analysis, which remains a vital and rewarding approach to the study of media and culture.