The article that I have chosen to evaluate is Audiencing Violence: Watching Homeless Men Watch Die Hard by John Fiske and Robert Dawson. In the article they conducted a miniature ethnographic study of homeless men. Their goal was to get a better understanding of the role that politics play in the issue of violence that is plaguing our culture. In this study they try to prove that micro cultural things like watching a violent movie and macro sociological influences such as Reaganomics can best be understood together. In other words, one cannot be appropriately explained without referring to the other.
The setting that they chose to conduct this study was a homeless shelter. It involved the ethnographer being present while the homeless men watch Die Hard. The process in which the conducted this study was in a process that they dubbed as “audiencing”. The article states, “ ‘Audiencing’ is an engagement in social relations, for the texts from which meanings are made and which constrain (but do not determine) them typically originate in a different position in the social order from that of most of their audiences (297).” In these instances, the audience discriminately creates meanings and pleasure. They chose homeless men to do this study because they greatly differed from middle-class families.
It was the ethnographer’s hope that the homeless men would provide them with a magnified example of the point that they were trying to make. They thought that the results would be magnified because the men that they were dealing with had acquired coping mechanisms to deal with their current social and financial situations that they are currently in that the middle-class and above have not had to deal with.
As previously mentioned the study took place in a homeless shelter. The shelter is located in a Protestant church. It is situated in such a way that it is not visible from the front of the church. In order for the men to get inside of the shelter they have to access it...