Nor do the people behave or live like masses; an aggregation of alienated one-dimensional persons whose only consciousness is false, whose only relationship to the system that enslaves them is one of unwitting dopes. Popular culture is made by them, not produced by the culture industry. All the culture industry can do is produce a repertoire of text and cultural resources for various formations of the people to use or reject in process of producing their popular culture”. Then there is Ronald Barthes, professor of semiology at the prestigious Colli??ge De France.
A major influence on the development of literary criticism and cultural studies. Famous for promoting that we should study ‘texts’. Which is very different from Fiske’s theories. Barthes aimed at creating a way for people to be able to deepen their understanding of language, literature, and society. He set about on a path of criticism of Occidentalism. His theories were that codes and signs made meaning possible and this allows human beings to interpret. He believed there was no such thing as pure uncoded objective world.
It all depended on codes of meaning or systems of signs like language. Meaning is not something, which is given or can be taken. It is manufactured out of shifting systems of codes and signs. He explains his distinction between readerly and writerly tendencies in text as; a readerly text invites a passive, receptive, disciplined reader who tends to accept it’s meaning as already made. It is closed text, easy to read and undemanding of its reader. Opposed to writerly text, which challenges the reader to constantly rewrite it, to make sense out of it.It invites readers to participate in the construction of meaning.
Barthes concludes the readerly text is more accessible and popular and the writerly more difficult therefore of minority appeal. Semiology is concerned with production of meaning which Barthes calls’ the process of signification’. Barthes is interested not so much in what things mean, but how things mean. The reason why Barthes is a famous and well-known intellectual figure is his skill in finding, manipulating and exploiting theories and concepts of how things mean.
His main interest was semiology. He aimed at creating a way for people to be able to deepen their understanding of language, literature and society. According to Barthes, classic criticism had never paid any attention to the reader. But the reader is the space, in which all aspects of text meet. A text’s unity lies not in its origin, but in its destination. He said ‘ the birth of a reader must be at the cost of the death of the author’. Richard Hoggart was one of the first writers to apply the principles of literary criticism to popular culture.
His book ‘The Uses of Literacy’ broadens the application of literary studies to take in newspapers, magazines, popular music and so on. He examines the interconnections between these and the structures of individual’s everyday lives. He shows popular culture to be worthy of more serious attention than, other literary critics were prepared to allow. What he attacks is not moral decline in the working class, but what he sees as a decline in the moral seriousness of the culture provided for the working class.On many occasions he emphasizes on his confidence in the working class’s ability to resist the manipulation of the mass culture. He believes that they have a strong a ability to survive change by adapting what they want in the new and ignoring the rest. Their response to mass culture is passive. They do not seek to escape from ordinary life, but believe that ordinary life is interesting.
He also said that the pleasures of mass entertainment were destroying the fabric of an order, healthy working class culture.He strongly believes that the culture is made by the people, and sees working class culture different from the mass culture. He condemns the post-war culture, which he considers trivial and subversive of the authenticity of the working class culture. Hoggart were intensely involved in projects of working class education and oriented toward socialist politics, seeing their form of cultural studies as an instrument of progressive social change.
His focus on working class culture and the interconnectedness of its experience had a further development of cultural studies.He saw the media as powerful tools of the dominant ideology. His goal was to raise the consciousness of the audience as well as the workers in the media. All three theorists have different views of how audiences perceive text, and what meaning they get from it, or whether they are active or passive. According Barthes the text provides meaning for the audiences. He said “‘If I judge a text according to pleasure, I cannot go on to say: this one is good, that bad.No awards, no critique’, for this always implies a tactical aim, a social usage, and frequently an extenuating image-reservoir’.
Hoggart had more to do with the working class. He was not interested in finding how things meant, or what people decoded text as. He believed the working class culture was separate from mass culture and that their response to mass culture was passive. And there is Fiske who believes that each individual will have his/her own meaning of a txt and not just except a meaning given to them.And in this day an age every person has his/her own views on everything and that what makes them the individuals that they are.
And I think having different views and being different is also a popular culture now. I would think that Fiske theory on audiences in this age fits just right. Popular culture must offer popular meaning and pleasures. Popular meanings are constructed out of relevance between the text and everyday life. Popular pleasures are derived from the production of these meanings by people.
There is little pleasure in accepting ready-made meanings.