Triangulation in historical audience research : reflections and experiences from a multimethodological research project on cinema audiences in Flanders
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Participations: journal of audience and reception studies. - Middlesex
, p. 690-715
University of Antwerp
This article reflects upon a series of historical audience research projects on the social experience of cinema-going and the issue of social distinction. Concentrating on the difficulties related to doing historical media audience research, this article proposes a multi-method perspective around qualitative audience approaches (using oral history inspired ethnographic methods) in combination with methods coming from political economy, socio-geography, and programming analysis. The article first looks at different paradigms and approaches on historical audience research within film studies, with a special focus on oral history. The second part consists of a concrete case study on historical cinema-going audiences in Flanders, Belgium, where we argue that the social practice of cinema-going was a significant social routine, strongly inspired by community identity formation, class and social distinction.