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Interpreting Erica: A Study of Fan Engagement

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Interpreting Erica: A Study of Fan Engagement

Edey, Susan (2012) Interpreting Erica: A Study of Fan Engagement. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis mobilizes theories of audiences and everyday life, feminist media critique and narrative identity to consider the medium of television and the fan experience. Using a targeted group of research participants, accessed through snowball sampling, the author undertook small-group conversations and one-on-one interviews to better understand how these particular fans engaged with the CBC television series Being Erica. Taking the view that audiences are both active and culturally situated and recognizing that our taste in media both informs and is informed by our sense of self, this research asserts that fan engagement with middlebrow televisual texts merits serious academic attention. Based on a consideration of Being Erica’s position within a post-feminist genre, the author contends that the series’ generic storylines allowed these viewers to relate to what they perceived to be an authentic representation of a young woman in today’s world and to remember and reflect on their own life experiences. Furthermore, the use of therapy as a primary narrative trope and the mobilization of self-help discourse gave these fans the opportunity to (re)learn some key lessons on how to be a ‘good’ person and live a ‘good’ life. The result was a personal, emotional and enjoyable journey for these fans, but one that served to promote a normative view of happiness and emphasized the importance of individual accountability and self-management above all else. 

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Edey, Susan
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:05 September 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Allor, Martin
ID Code:974750
Deposited By:SUSAN EDEY
Deposited On:30 Oct 2012 11:15
Last Modified:30 Oct 2012 11:15
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