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The constitution of Australian broadcasting policy: introducing pay TV
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 19:49 authored by Matthew Pearce
This thesis examines the explanatory power of the existing Australian broadcasting policy literature. This literature is comprised of seven main perspectives. The perspectives generally fit into three main theoretical traditions. First, two perspectives privilege structure such that they either ignore or have little place for effective agency. Second, four perspectives attempt to combine structure and agency yet present structures as fixed and external to seemingly autonomous action. Third, one perspective privileges agency over structure. -- These three main theoretical traditions manifest a distinct lack in the existing Australian broadcasting policy literature. No Australian broadcasting policy analysis has yet successfully combined structure and agency to represent Australian broadcasting policy as the product of a reflexive relationship between structures and agents. This means that they cannot explain the complex constraints that agents face or the capacity they have to influence policy outcomes. -- In this context, this thesis develops a structuration approach to examining Australian broadcasting policy. This structuration approach emphasises that agents fulfil techniques of policy procedure that should be considered as structures. By fulfilling the techniques of policy procedure, agents simultaneously perpetuate the requirement that to be politically effective they must fulfil these policy rules or techniques. Structures are thus the medium and outcome of the conduct they recursively organise. This relationship between structure and agency exists in a policy environment that is bounded by technological possibility and the legacies of previous and related policies. -- This thesis conducts a case study in an attempt to assess the explanatory power of the existing Australian broadcasting policy literature -- and of this thesis' structuration approach. The case study follows the debate about, and significant events impacting on, the introduction of pay TV in Australia. Thus the case study examines the introduction of pay TV from the mid-1970s to pay TV's introduction in Australia in 1995. The case study shows that this thesis' structuration approach has greater explanatory power for the constitution of Australian broadcasting policy than do the existing perspectives of Australian broadcasting policy.