Encoding and decoding model編解碼模型
In the early 1900s, the theory of communication sciences took audience as passive audience of information communication, the research on communication effect still mainly focused on the communication system itself, but in reality, television producers found that their information was not properly understood by audience, TV program makers wanted to take a series of measures to promote the "effectiveness" of communication. However, based on these traditional communication theories did not help to improve communication results. In this context, many new communication theories have been put forward, Hall's encoding and decoding theory is one of the most representative and authoritative theory. In communication sciences, the so-called encoding means converting information into symbols or codes which can be communicated. Decoding is to extract information from communication symbols. Hall divides the position of viewers for TV decoding information into three parts.
1. Dominant-hegemonic position支配霸權地位
Dominant - hegemonic position refers to decoding practice of TV viewers within the scope of dominant codes, they make sense of meaning directly from TV news broadcasts or current affairs program, and according to the reference codes of information encoding to decode information (Hall, 1973). Hall calls this ideal television transmission mode "fully transparent communication". In simple terms, dominant - hegemonic position is that the decoding position of viewers and the encoding position of television producers or position of professional codes are exactly the same, encoding and decoding accord.
2. Negotiated position談判立場
Hall explains that television audience on the one hand recognizes the authority of dominant ideology, but on the other hand, they also emphasize their particular circumstances, there is a consultation process full of contradictions between the two (Hall, 1973). Hall cites an example, workers watching television news can agree with the point of view of news - a wage increase will lead to inflation, but they still participate in a strike for higher wages.
3. Oppositional position 位置
Hall believes that TV viewers may fully understand the twists and turns of changes of literal meaning and connotation that language brings, but in a completely opposite way to decode the information" (Hall, 1973). This means that television viewers can understand the "code" of TV words, but they choose their own decoding position, based on their experience and background to interpret entirely differently from what coders mean.
Significance of Hall’s theory lies in that he has abandoned the point of view that in the past, audience was believed to be only passive in decoding television program, he believes that based on understanding of television text and understanding a coder's intent, audience can be according to their needs and take the initiative to take a dominant, or negotiated, or oppositional position to decode television program, acceptance of television viewers is not passive, a sender's own interpretation does not mean a recipient's own interpretation, information transmitted is not smooth and intact all the way enter the concept of recipients. Decoding in this essay is a social activity and a social process of negotiation, audience can take any attitude to deal with it.
Hall, S. (1973). Encoding and decoding in the television discourse. University of Birmingham.