Entertainment Studies 2015 Abstracts

International Satiric TV Shows As Critical Infotainment (A Comparative Analysis) • Paul Alonso, Georgia Tech • This article analyzes, contrasts and compares the discourse of three satiric infotainment television shows built around their hosts: American Jon Stewart (host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart); British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (the actor who incarnates the popular characters Borat, Bruno and Ali G, in the Da Ali G Show), and Peruvian Jaime Bayly (host of the Peruvian TV show El Francotirador/The Sniper). These three cases not only responded to their specific national, social, and political contexts, but also demonstrate important similarities: they parody journalistic genres questioning its authority and values, they use humor to develop socio-political and cultural critiques, the shows revolve around a talented character who is a media celebrity, and all of these characters perform interventions on reality. This research goes beyond the notion of fake news identifying deeper connections between international cases, in order to illuminate the transnational phenomenon of satiric infotainment, its potential and contradictions.

Musicality and uses of music in satirical animation: A qualitative analysis • Calli Breil, University of Missouri; Samuel Tham, University of Missouri School of Journalism • Music has long been ignored as an essential part that influences mood and understanding of a show and stereotypes. This study used a qualitative analysis to examine specific musical choices of three animated shows and found differences in racial stereotypes, characters, and even usage of popular songs to convey a plot, or a character’s experience.

Rich and Fabulous: The Marginalizing Power of Television Situational Comedies and the Contrived Gay Market • Robert Byrd, University of Memphis • The purpose of this paper is to examine issues of class and consumption in the programs, which excludes any queer individual not belonging to a constructed gay buying bloc consisting of affluent gay men with large disposable incomes. This exclusion from the homonormative notions of affluent gay men further marginalizes LGBTQ people from lower socio-economic groups, which often includes LGBTQ people of color and women. The study uses discourse analysis through a queer theory lens to examine five television situational comedies aired during the 2012-2013 television season to better understand the role of affluence and consumption in the visibility of sexual minorities.

Time-Shifting vs. Appointment Viewing: The Role of Fear of Missing Out within TV Consumption Habits • Lindsey Conlin, The University of Southern Mississippi; Andrew Billings, University of Alabama; Lauren Auverset, University of Alabama • Employing a national sample of 160 respondents, this study investigates the phenomenon of fear-of-missing-out (FoMO). Results indicated that FoMO plays a role in the pace that people choose to watch TV, as well as whether they are likely to watch some one-time TV entertainment programs, yet not for one-time sporting events. FoMO also predicted social media use as it relates to TV watching. Implications and directions for future research are discussed

Melfi’s choice: Morally conflicted content leads to moral deliberation in viewers • Serena Daalmans, Radboud University; Allison Eden, VU University Amsterdam; Merel van Ommen; Addy Weijers • This study investigates if morally conflicted and controversial content, which is often denounced as morally desensitizing, may lead to moral deliberation in viewers. The results of a quasi-experiment reveal that moral deliberation was predicted by transportation into the narrative and was related to increased appreciation for the episode. The results support the notion that media potentially function as a morality sandbox in which to play with or test out moral concerns, even in regards to controversial and violent content.

The Influence of Social Identity Salience on Mediated Contact: Examining the Effect of a Common Ingroup Identity • Jannath Ghaznavi, University of California, Davis; Laramie Taylor, University of California Davis • The present study examines the role of social identity salience and entertainment programming on facilitating positive intergroup outcomes. Applying the common ingroup identity model to a mediated contact setting, we examined the influence of shared or exclusive group identities (familial identity, gay identity) and entertainment genres (comedy, drama) on social category salience, perceived similarity to gay male media characters, and attitudes toward gay men among heterosexual viewers. Exposure to entertainment programming in which gay male characters are depicted in a familial or gay identity context influenced the extent to which corresponding social identities were salient. Frequency of social contact with sexual minorities moderated the effect of exposure to media content emphasizing a particular group identity on perceived similarity and attitudes toward gay men. Results provide initial evidence into the effects of social identity salience on social perceptions and evaluations of often-stigmatized minority groups.

Effect of Narcissism, Para-social Interaction, and Gratifications Sought on Singing Competition Reality Shows among Chinese Audiences • Lei Guo; Deya Xu, Department of Communication, CUHK • In recent years, reality shows, especially the singing competition reality shows, have dominated Mainland Chinese TV program market gradually. However, there is a lack of literature specializes in studying singing competition reality shows. To fill this gap, this research focuses on exploring the viewing gratifications of the shows among Chinese audiences, at the same time classifies these shows into two genres from developmental perspective for the first time. Data was collected from 411 Chinese audiences aged 19 to 65. Additional analysis reveals that the most salient motives for watching the shows are meeting the ambition, high production quality pursuing, social interaction, emotional elements attraction, individual interests, and relaxation. In addition, both narcissism and para-social interaction are found significantly related to gratification sought from the shows viewing. Concurrently, the gratifications, narcissism, and para-social interaction are significantly associating with certain genres of Chinese singing competition reality shows.

Gender, Sex and Violence: The Differences in Sexual and Violent Content in Male and Female Musicians’ Lyrics and Music Videos • Stacey Hust, Washington State University; Kathleen Rodgers, Department of Human Development, Washington State University; Nicole O’Donnell, Washington State University; Weina Ran; Stephanie Ebreo, Washington State University • An analysis of music lyrics and their corresponding music video segments (n = 610 stanzas) from Billboard’s Hot 100 reveals popular music offers numerous variations of sexual and violent scripts by gender of musician. The results provide insight into the impact of gender on content creation. It extends prior research by identifying that female objectification in mainstream music videos is an artifact of the video production, and not a factor associated with the musician’s lyrics.

Subtitles in Entertainment Television in South Korea: Focused on a Third-Person Effect • Hyeri Jung, The University of Texas at Austin • The Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) has announced a ban on the use of subtitles consisting of vulgar language in South Korean entertainment television, arguing that they deteriorate the quality of audiences’ ordinary language use. This study attempts to investigate whether the argument of the KCSC is valid by analyzing the subtitles with a substantial use of multiple methods and a third-person effect hypothesis. The findings of this study illustrate interesting aspects that may revisit the third-person effect model and linguistic values in entertainment television.

The appeal of sad comedies and funny dramas: Exploring oppositional affective responses and their implications for culture • Jinhee Kim, Pohang University of Science and Technology; Keunyeong Karina Kim, Pennsylvania State University; mihye seo • This study explores the appeal of entertainment messages that include two extreme opposite ends of comedy (as one extreme) and tragedy (as the other extreme). A cross-cultural experiment that assesses real-time responses reveals that South Koreans are more likely than U.S. Americans to enjoy and appreciate entertainment messages that induce opposing affective (comic and tragic) as well as physical (laughing and crying) responses via heightened naïve dialecticism. Findings are interpreted as suggesting East Asians’ great acceptance for contradiction as well as reversible change that emphasize harmonious integration of any two opposing elements in the universe.

Under Pressure: Explaining the Role of Character Development in the Evaluation of Morally Ambiguous Characters in Entertainment Media • Mariska Kleemans; Serena Daalmans, Radboud University; Merel van Ommen; Allison Eden, VU University Amsterdam; Addy Weijers • The current project aims at better understanding of how narrative characteristics in stories function in the liking, moral evaluation, and enjoyment of narratives featuring morally ambiguous characters. Results of both a qualitative content analysis and an experiment provide support for the claim that character development is a central mechanism to explain viewer responses to MACs in narrative content. Therewith, the study provides new directions for affective disposition research.

Parasocial Processing of a Situational Comedy: An Experimental Study • Travis Loof, Texas Tech University • This post-test only experimental design revealed that audio-only direct address by the title character was significantly associated with more feelings of subjective address and indirectly the experience of parasocial interaction (EPSI). Additionally, this study demonstrated an empirical link between content, interpersonal theories, and mediated characters. This study examined perceived self-disclosure and attributional confidence as predictors of parasocial relationship (PSR) interaction. Findings are discussed in terms of the growing use of character address and flashbacks within narrative television.

I Give the Civil Rights Four Stars: Film Criticism of The Help, The Butler and Selma • Kathleen McElroy, Oklahoma State; Danny Shipka • Three recent Hollywood films, The Help (2011), Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013) and Selma (2014), drew attention for depicting the Civil Rights Movement and the Jim Crow South. While Hollywood has been scrutinized for its role in racial discourse, less attention has been paid to film critics’ discussion of race in their reviews. This paper examines the critical response to these films, with an emphasis on the reviewers’ reliance on memory and history in forming their opinions. A textual analysis found that critics were reverential toward the movement and the black experience but still mistrustful of the Hollywood system to do a credible job in explaining or understanding the events. The reviewers shaped and shared a memory of nightmarish race relations and prescribed corrections for both Hollywood and America.

Self-Confidence, Stardom and Post-Racial Culture: Gabourey Sidibe in Entertainment Journalism • Russell Meeuf, University of Idaho • The rise to fame of Gabourey Sidibe—the overweight, black actress from Precious and American Horror Story—illustrates the prevalence of post-racial discourse in U.S. entertainment media. Examining the discursive construction of Sidibe’s fame in entertainment magazines, this paper demonstrates how the insistent focus on Sidibe’s self-confidence reflects post-racial discourse and the denial of structural racism. Instead, Sidibe’s star persona celebrates individual solutions to social problems and a colorblind model of universal womanhood.

Millennial Audience Reception to Lyrics Depicting Independent Women • Mia Moody-Ramirez, Baylor University; Lakia Scott • This case study used a Black feminist lens and a constructivist approach to encourage college students to discuss representations of women and independence. After an initial assessment of students’ definitions of independence, researchers provided various videos on the topic and gauged their changes in perceptions. Findings indicated that participants had various definitions and opinions of independence based on personal and family beliefs. While their definitions did not change after watching rap videos, participants were able to discuss more dimensions of independence following this exercise. At the beginning of the study, participants mainly associated independence with issues related to their parents, relationships, and finances. After viewing the videos, they noted that rappers had many different perceptions of independence that linked the term to sexuality, beauty, gender, and power which ultimately influenced their developing perceptions of independence. One of the goals of constructivism is to help students become life-long learners and better critical thinkers. We encourage scholars to build on this article to develop curriculum that will enable young adults to become their own version of independent.

Watching American Entertainment Television in India • Jane O’Boyle, University of South Carolina • India has increasing access to American entertainment programs, through a growing economy, expanding satellite systems and internet access. Founded on cultivation theory, this qualitative study included telephone and online interviews with India residents on Reddit.com (N=182) and found Breaking Bad is the most popular American program among respondents, followed by Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory, Friends and Seinfeld. This study also found most viewed the programs by downloading them illegally, largely for avoiding government censors. Discussion addresses the implications for American identity around the world and cross-cultural media effects.

Broadcasting upon a shooting star: An exploratory study of Afreeca TV’s live-stream self broadcast model • Soo-Kwang Oh, William Paterson University; Hyun-Ju Choi • This exploratory study examined the newly emerging and increasingly popular online personal broadcasting service, Afreeca TV. The website features a livestream self-broadcasting system accompanied by a live chat window. This study sought employed a qualitative content analysis of most popular shows on Afreeca TV to identify the elements that make its model successful in today’s digital media landscape. The researchers discuss following key elements that may explain Afreeca TV’s success: diversified content, audience participation/influence, virtual celebrity, the Star Balloon feature, sociality, and the livecast management system.

Identification through Online Mediated Sports: Examining Parasocial Interaction with Sports Players of Color • Po-Lin Pan, Arkansas State University; Li Zeng, Arkansas State University • A two (Race of sports players: Black vs. Asian) by two (Race of sports viewers: Black vs. Asian) by two (Gender difference: Male vs. female) mixed factorial experiment was designed to examine online sports viewers’ parasocial interaction (PSI) with sports players of color. Results found that online sports viewers were more likely to exhibit a higher level of PSI when viewing athletes of the same racial group than viewing those from a different racial group. Black viewers showed a higher level of PSI with the Black player than with the Asian player. Correspondingly, Asian viewers exhibited a higher level of PSI with the Asian player than with the Black player. Evidence for similarity identification suggested that the more similar media viewers are to media characters, the more likely the former are to develop affective bonds with the latter. In the context of online mediated sports, these affective bonds would direct online sports viewers to desire even greater similarity to sports players, and activate online sports viewers to take sports players’ perspective, eventually leading to a higher level of PSI.

Mythmaking in Singapore: The case of Ah Boys to Men 1 and II • Stacy Lai; Daoyi Lin; Wirdayu Binte Safie; Phoebe Seow; Hazel Wee; Fernando Paragas • This paper uses discourse analysis to surface how the myths of nationhood, masculinity and male adulthood are negotiated in the Singapore movies Ah Boys to Men Part 1 and Ah Boys to Men Part II. Our analysis shows that while the narratives contain viewpoints on nationhood, masculinity and the male rite of passage that reflect accepted socio-political and cultural norms and values, certain aspects of nation-building as portrayed in the movies do not match the national rhetoric.

The effects of insulting weight jokes and online comments on explicit and implicit weight-based attitudes • Scott Parrott • This study investigates weight-based disparagement humor, or communication in which one person uses humor to insult another person because he/she is overweight or obese. Decades ago, researchers began examining reasons people enjoy witnessing the ridicule of others. Nevertheless, we remain unclear on whether exposure to disparagement humor informs attitudes concerning the target. This study, an experiment, investigates how exposure to weight-based disparagement humor and normative cues informs explicit and implicit attitudes concerning weight. The data suggest short-term exposure to disparagement humor does not elicit explicit attitude change. However, data suggest that exposure informs implicit affect concerning people who are obese.

Fun versus Meaningful Video Game Experiences: A Qualitative Analysis of User Responses • Ryan Rogers; Julia Woolley; Mary Beth Oliver; Nicholas Bowman; Brett Sherrick, Penn State; Mun-Young Chung, Pennsylvania State University • Traditionally, entertainment research has focused on the hedonic gratifications of media consumption but media scholars have recently begun to expand their focus to include both meaningfulness and enjoyment as orthogonal dimensions of viewer experience. In other words, experiences of enjoyment result from the fulfillment of hedonic needs, such as enhancing positive mood and decreasing negative mood, experiences of meaningfulness result from the fulfillment of eudaimonic needs, such as insight into the human condition or understanding of life truths. Most of these studies are limited to film but this study examines video games. To explore how video games might provide individuals with meaningful experiences, we conducted an online study that implemented open-ended questions. Participants could respond however they saw fit to best explain their answers to the questions. This allowed participants to describe in detail what they felt made a video game meaningful or enjoyable.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them- Hollywood’s Answer to Bollywood Remakes. • Enakshi Roy, Ohio University • This study examines Bollywood remakes of Hollywood movies from a perspective of international law and how it is applied to copyright violations, infringement and fair use in the context of content appropriation. By scrutinizing the four court cases in which a Bollywood producer was sued by a Hollywood studio for content appropriation or infringement this paper analyses how Bollywood gets away with making blatant copies from Hollywood. The analysis reveals that the Indian court system, using tests and standards such as the Merger and Scenes c Faire, the lay observer test and derivative work argument often rule in favor of the Indian movie makers, by considering the remade Bollywood movies are distinct non-infringed products. Getting monetary damages become further difficult as the Hollywood studios find it difficult to prove any loss of income, because Bollywood earnings are lower than Hollywood. The paper explores the possibility of a middle ground where the two movie producing markets could meet. The paper tries to understand movie adaptation from a legal perspective rather than a content creation perspective.

But First, Let Me Take a #selfie: An Examination of Self-objectification and Face-ism on Instagram • Erin Ryan, Kennesaw State University; Cynthia Nichols, Oklahoma State University • Decades of research on face-ism in traditional media consistently report women are more likely to be pictured from a more distant perspective than men, showing more of their bodies. In a cultivation-like manner, women are socialized to believe that their most important characteristics are located in the body. In the online arena, however, individuals have much more control over their image and may self-present in any way they choose. Unfortunately, it appears that online users of social networks are mirroring the traditional, gendered manner of presenting the self. To examine this phenomenon within the framework of self-objectification and impression management on the image-focused social network Instagram, this content analysis used the face-ism index and shot type to determine the facial prominence of 382 female and male posters of selfies. Results indicated that the face-ism effect prevails: women posted significantly more body-centric selfies than men, had a lower degree of facial prominence on the face-ism index than men, and engaged in a duckface pose significantly more often than men. These results conform to traditional media-based theoretical expectations, indicating that Instagram users self-objectify when posting online. Results are discussed in the context of Baumeister and Hutton’s (1987) self-presentation theory and Leary’s (1996) self-presentational tactics.

All I Want for Christmas is You: ‘Tis the Season for Holiday Romance • David Staton, University of Oregon SOJC; Kathleen Ryan, University of Colorado Boulder • This paper looks at tropes found in made-for-television holiday films, using Sontag’s concept of camp and Barthes’ concept of myth. The authors find three tropes, each based prior Christmas theatrical films/stories. While the original films or stories inspired lessons about the need to devote oneself to charity and social justice (A Christmas Carol), the ever-expanding circles of influence an individual’s selfless actions can have on a community (It’s a Wonderful Life), and the importance of faith in humanity (Miracle on 34th Street), the authors argue the made-for-television versions boil down to a different message: the reinforcement of hetero-normative relationships and the myth of true love.

The Intersection of the Disney Princess Phenomenon & Eating Disorders: A Case Study of @BunnieJuice on Twitter • Erin Ryan, Kennesaw State University • The Disney Princess phenomenon has been well documented in recent years, and results of such studies indicate that these characters exert a powerful influence on children’s media and self-identity, defining girlhood in a highly gendered fashion, rife with stereotypical representations. And for girls who have grown up with this princess-like beauty ideal, body dissatisfaction is at an all-time high. Increased media exposure is related to children’s preference for thin adult figures that could represent their future selves. And, unfortunately, social comparison to these figures has resulted in a proliferation of eating disorders. To examine this intersection of the Disney Princess and the prevalence of eating disordered lifestyles, this case study presents a thematic analysis of anonymous Twitter user @BunnieJuice, a self-professed Disney princess fan and active anorexic. Through the analysis of her 11 months of tweets, pictures, and retweets, three overall themes emerged: harmful thinspiration, self-destructive behavior (i.e., starvation, binging, and cutting), and negativity aimed at others. Examples of Disney-inspired tweets include Disney princess thinspo pictures, the use of a Tinker Bell box for her cutting instruments, and quoting from Disney movies to others who have wronged her. @BunnieJuice has clearly co-opted the princess image to justify her eating disordered lifestyle and to motivate herself to continue this behavior.

Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves: Examining Representations of Roma Culture in 70 Years of American Television • Adina Schneeweis, Oakland University; Katie Foss, Middle Tennessee State University • Most Americans have very little first-hand experience with Roma culture, commonly known as Gypsies, and therefore base their perceptions on media representations. Yet news and entertainment media have perpetuated negative stereotypes, disseminating misinformation about this minority group. Further, there is thin anthological attention to the representation of the Roma and Gypsy ethnicity in U.S. media. To examine the evolution of knowledge-production in American TV content, this research examined portrayals of Gypsies and their culture in fictional programs, from 1953 through 2014. The textual analysis of 84 episodes from 35 shows revealed that television has reinforced negative stereotypes, suggesting that Gypsies are consistently different and other, intrinsically inclined to a criminal lifestyle, a closed ethnic community that is resistant to change and has its own internal rules. More recent representations convey that Gypsies may be misunderstood due to their cultural history, yet this depiction is not only considerably less visible than the others, but also emerges as a mere nod toward tolerance, far from a complex narrative of historical trauma.

How do readers contribute to processing of a fictional text? Analyzing readers’ performance of a narrative by using mental models approach • Neelam Sharma • Narrative performance is a process by which readers bring both facts and emotions to construct distinct story worlds into which they can travel. This study advances narrative processing literature by examining readers’ inferential, affective, evaluatory, and self-referential responses to a narrative. Sixteen participants in India read a short fictional story, drew story-related pictures and participated in depth interviews. The study demonstrated that empathy with characters resulted in more evaluation by the readers, and that self-referencing aided in narrative performance.

GIRLS and Sex: A Content Analysis of Sexual Health Depictions in HBO’s GIRLS • Elise Stevens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Kyla Garret • GIRLS is a fictional comedy-drama show with 4.1 million viewers. It follows Millennial women living in New York City dealing with relationships, sex, and careers. GIRLS has received much attention for its portrayals of sex, dialogue about sexual risk and responsibility, and the inclusion of humor. This systematic, quantitative content analysis of the first three seasons of GIRLS examines sexual behaviors, sexual talk, sexual risk and responsibility, and the usage of humor. Results revealed light kissing to be the most prevalent of all sexual behaviors followed by passionate kissing, intimate touching, and sexual intercourse. Sexual talk was greatest when talking about future sexual actions or interests. Negative emotions due to sex, endorsement of contraceptives, and HIV/STIs had the greatest mentions of risk and responsibility. Additionally, humor was incorporated more frequently in scenes with risk and responsibility. Since humor can increase attention and interest in a topic, implications of GIRLS employing this appeal with risk and responsibility is discussed, especially as GIRLS paves the way for programming like it.

Let’s Just Wait Until It’s on Netflix: Movie Attendance in the Digital Age • Alec Tefertiller, University of Houston • Innovations in digital technology have provided consumers with a variety of screens and portals through which they can access motion picture entertainment. The purpose of this study is to understand what factors motivate consumers to experience a film in the theater versus waiting to see the film at home. Using the uses and gratifications framework coupled with the theory of reasoned action, this study found that affective gratifications exert the biggest influence on theatrical attendance.

Power Women: Exploring the Effects of Political Women on Television • YAOJUN YAN; Peta Long, Syracuse University; Jasmine Vickers, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY; Hanna Birkhead • This paper explores the intersection between the rise of political women characters in televised narratives and the rise of the number of women in the United States Congress. It examines data collected via an online survey (N=232), which indicates that there is a relationship between audience consumption of several popular entertainment narratives (The Good Wife, House of Cards, Madam Secretary, Parks and Recreation, Scandal, and Veep,) and attitude towards female politicians, and political participation.

2015 Abstracts

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