Essay Sample on Stuart Hall's Theory of Media - Encoding/Decoding

Published: 2023-04-09
Essay Sample on Stuart Hall's Theory of Media - Encoding/Decoding
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Culture Technology Media
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1129 words
10 min read

Hall analyzes two different concepts in his definition of 'popular.' First, Hall gives and presents a broader picture of 'the popular' while elaborating its circulation and commerciality. The second meaning is tied to the concept of culture, through recognition and appreciation of the role of culture (Hall 186). Therefore, in his definition, Hall presents a clear picture of the media using a combination of various perspectives, including Marxist and hegemony, which depicts media as a device of the state capable of reproducing dominant and significant ideologies. Therefore, the paper aims to analyze how digital and interactive media researchers interrelate the concept of affordances concerning Hall's canonical theory of encoding and decoding, which will create a better understanding of how interactivity and representation is enhanced or hindered by various platforms and technologies.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Presentation of Argument

The primary objective of the Hall's work is to push for communication and media scholars to develop and implement new ideas of integrating his work to come up with improved, clinical and better media communication. The encoding and decoding should be adapted and used for critical thinking concerning new ideologies and the dialect of cultural struggle (Hall 186). Notably, affordance is a concept that originated from cognitive psychology by focusing on what stage do people learn to apply various action possibilities on their environment. Therefore, affordances have certainly become a central focus in the field of communication and technological studies, not because it is a unique concept, but because of its capability of solving the impact of technological description (Hall 186). Just like the model of hypodermic needle relating to media consequences, clear communication determinism may be quite of a 'straw man' compared to more nuanced technological theories and culture. Notably, a great cause of concern has persisted as people have continued to question anecdotally on the influence of technology on culture, notwithstanding the description of the positive and negative side.

Ideally, this kind of concern often categorizes and separates technology outside culture through ignorance of the existence of technology and its development within multiple social structures. Hence, this separation draws attention to Hall's discussion on 'Notes on Destructing 'the popular' of how external environmental factors mostly influence the popular culture (Hall 188). Therefore, it will be logical to stipulate that the popular culture is neither in its pure sense nor in superimposed form because it forms the basis over which media and cultural transformations are developed. However, Hall argues that, in the examination of popular culture, people should always start at a common point, which is the double staking in popular culture. Double staking entails the movement of resistance and containment, which are mostly inevitable.

The popular is an essential site of struggle since it promotes and highlights the concepts of the cultural revolution, which ought to accompany political and economic revolutions. Moreover, this should be understood in a broader dimension since it is a prolonged revolution that could eventually translate to socialism through cultural deepening and democratization (Hall 189) The popular aims bring out better ways in which the society may voice out their life challenges and struggles, which are currently marginalized by hegemony. Hence having fully effective initiatives for cultural democracy plays a significant role in alterations of dominant cultures and media representation.

However, parallel perceptions and criticism exist on how various communication technologies and people's reception have been considered. The alignment of cause and effect of determinism technologies or direct media influence the neo-Marxist and effect theories have been tipped to have caused the complexity of related hegemonic systems. Therefore, just like the people reception, media-related studies need encoding and decoding moments; however, those with parallel opinions disagree by mentioning that affordances theory does not fit in this circumstance (Hall 186). The focus of affordances has shifted from power to a more improved design of expression; however, between affordances and Hall's theory, there exists something significant.

Therefore, to effectively implement or understand the practicability of encoding and decoding on new media and culture, there is a need for the incorporation of Hall's model. To be specific, the concept of power differential must be clearly understood while taking into consideration the difference between reception and production process in encoding and decoding, which does not capture the interactivity of the new media (Hall 190). As Hall stipulates, the codes used for encoding and decoding may not be perfectly symmetrical. Further, he mentions that distortions arise as a result of non-equivalence between the communicating parties. In the new media objects, non-compliance in the use of technology is mostly considered failures, especially when caused by marginalized people. Therefore, taking this into account, how can adaptation to Hall's reading positions be applied in media interactivity. The three positions include hegemonic, oppositional, and negotiation, which does not include the interpretation of the text. Hegemonic uses objects for perceptions and affordances; the oppositional position takes advantage or alter affordances or change false affordance.

The point of incorporating Hall's work on the positions is to bring out the concept of power dynamics and the concept of media representation. Therefore, what is seen as the oppositional use of media is intrinsically interrelated to who has the discretion to dictate how technologies, including television, should be used. For instance, when feminist game designers introduced a hypertext program 'Twine' which was a robust and powerful game which was based on personal narrative, the texts were perceived as not being real and thus the games 'not being real' (Hall 186). Notably, the designers had failed to comply with the dominant definition of what such games should compose. Besides, they had also failed to comply with how 'Twine' as a program was to be used. Deviating from the games, a similar case has arisen in multiple digital media texts, objects, and practices. For instance, Hall examined gender dynamics inclusive of other factors, including the use of memes, especially among women (Hall 192). Therefore, great concerns or questions would be, who determines the use of memes? To answer the question, we must take into consideration affordances.

Conclusion and Future Research

In conclusion, new, interactive, emergent communication, and media technologies will no doubt necessitate that we treat receptors or audience activities as required by the technologies and texts. However, in order to achieve the objective, an examination of the audience activities should always be at stake while considering such questions, including how are their activities managed, are users restricted to the technology use? These questions might be complex to solve and require that we bring out a clear definition of activity while integrating the model of 'new media encoding and decoding.' Therefore, future research on this area should focus on how afforded activities fit in a social-cultural perspective about advanced models to improve representation.

Work Cited

Hall, Stuart. "Notes on Deconstructing 'The Popular'." Cultural Resistance Reader, edited by Stephen Duncombe, Verso, 2002, pp. 185-192.

Cite this page

Essay Sample on Stuart Hall's Theory of Media - Encoding/Decoding. (2023, Apr 09). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism