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Author: Zhenglan Lu

Abstract

The three positions of decodings proposed by communication theorist Stuart Hall have become a starting point for contemporary cultural studies. He insists that receivers of cultural products are not necessarily passive but can be ‘oppositional’. Media scholar John Fiske has further advanced the theory, suggesting that receivers can turn to be ‘producerly’ in their reception of cultural products. The present paper sheds light on the possibility of a more active, even creative position on the part of receivers, particularly in relation to popular songs and other interactive texts. Receivers of cultural products are powerful others to the ‘producing elite’. Jürgen Habermas’s idea of ‘com-subjectivity’ provides a theoretical foundation for the validity and desirability of such ‘creative decoding’.

Open Access
In: Signs and Media