Sunday, January 22, 2017

Audience and Genre: Two Intertwined Concepts

Audience and Genre are often words misunderstood. Genre, as described by Bullock, Goggin, and Weinberg, is the form in which a writer presents their work. This presentation can fall under two separate sub-descriptions for genre, structural genre and thematic genre. This structural genre reflects the presentation and form of the work, such as whether to write in the form of letter, novel, non-fiction work, etc. Thematic genre represents the generally thought of definition of genre, where common themes and devices are used to tell stories. This thematic genre includes Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, and other categories that we commonly think of.

Audience, to whom we write, plays an integral part of style and genre in writing. Audience is both those who read what is written and those who we write to. Audience, being an extremely broad term, greatly affects the way in which we write and present our thoughts. This effect is twofold. When writing, there is often an intended audience to whom a writer wants to spread his or her message. This intended audience and their ability to properly digest a piece of writing greatly affects the structural genre of the work. If one is trying to reach a less educated audience, his or her work would not be published in a scientific journal as a scholarly article. Instead, a news article or social media post would be better to reach the desired audience. This intended audience also affects language and tone, another large component of genre. In the same example, long, complicated words would not be used to try to reach this same uneducated audience.

Audience and genre are two intertwined concepts that affect each other. As mentioned earlier, the intended audience greatly affects the genre in which a work is written. This changes and molds the general structure and presentation of many writings and works. However, the intended audience and the actual audience are not always the same. This actual audience depends greatly on the structural genre, as discussed, and the thematic genre. For example, writing in the Sci-Fi genre will often attract younger people, often males. In this way, genre and audience constantly play off each other and change the way we present our thoughts and messages. 

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