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Toby Miller


Encoding and decoding have been key concepts in communication for over fifty years, in keeping with the idea that language is a → code that needs to be cracked, and that the way it is received is as significant as the way that it is conceived. The connections of → linguistics to communication more generally have frequently deployed a message model: a sentence is given → meaning by the person uttering it, then interpreted and given new meaning by the person hearing it ( Gleason 1961 ). Encoding-decoding has been used to explain different styles of learning, via numerous studies of dyslexia, for example ( Pernet et al. 2009 ; → Learning and Communication ), and to transcend linguistics by focusing on the affect of encoders as they speak or gesture ( Pell et al. 2009 ; → Gestures and Kinesics ). Its most prominent place, however, is in media and → cultural studies , where it has been used to integrate the analysis of texts, producers, technologies, and audiences by thinking of them as coeval participants in the making of meaning (→ Speech Codes Theory ). Encoding-decoding within media and cultural studies derives from the rejection of psychological models of → media effects . Instead, media and cultural studies borrowed from a form of western Marxism that rejected notions of thought-controlled populations, and from a sociology that drew on ideas coming from across society ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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