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Texting the subject: Women, television, and modern self-reflexivity

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2005
<mark>Journal</mark>Communication Review
Issue number2
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)115-135
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Feminist audience research has often argued that the pleasures women find in watching certain popular television genres derive from their indulgence in “referential viewing”: relating their own subjective experience to television texts. But it has never been spelled out what this actually entails. This article, based upon research with women viewers of talk shows and morning magazine programs, suggests a specific methodology, “text in action,” to capture the specificities of the text/subject relationship. Findings arising from the use of this method suggest that accounts of the negotiation of subjectivity are induced through the text/subject interplay. Established explanations of “referential viewing” arrived at through traditional reception studies do not entirely account for the dialogic nature of these encounters. This article suggests that they can be more accurately explored through contemporary arguments about modern self-reflexivity where subjectivity can be seen to be discursively accomplishedthrough pragmatic actions across the broadcast encounter.