chapter  10
9 Pages

Audiences as pathfinders

WithAnnette Hill

One of the main ways of understanding the connections and contradictions between media producers and audiences is through the concept of a spectrum of engagement; this includes focus on the industrial contexts of engagement and the shifting and subjective practices of engagement with a range of genres, artefacts and events. Audiences engage with media across a spectrum of identities and emotional and cognitive practices. The mode of narration asked audiences to question a ‘false social imaginary’, constructed by powerful elites in shadow democracies. Transnational audiences and fans engaged with the drama, questioning the ‘all pervasive order’ of ruling elites putting their needs above the needs of citizens. However, audiences are pathfinders, changing and refiguring their affective, temporal and geographical relations with media. One of the most striking examples of the alignments and discrepancies of creative producers and roaming audiences is the case of the drama series Utopia.