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‘To be number one in someone’s eyes …’: Children’s introspections about close relationships in reading Harry Potter

Das, Ranjana (2013) ‘To be number one in someone’s eyes …’: Children’s introspections about close relationships in reading Harry Potter European Journal of Communication, 28 (4). pp. 454-469.

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Audience aesthetics and responses to popular culture genres which were once considered low brow have now long occupied the interests of the academy. This is a point to be taken seriously especially within children’s literature circles, where reading and reception is often generalised about under the theoretical umbrella of ‘the reader’ and ‘the spectator’ who is ‘drawn’ into a range of largely unproven pathways by the text. This article explores youthful perceptions of real-life, close relationships, the projection of these relationships onto those seen in the media text and the resulting mediation of relationship ideals, desires and wishes. Analysing data from fieldwork with teen audiences of the Harry Potter series, this article argues that there is more to the mediation of relationships than the undoubtedly rich discussions of the media bringing people together at the moment of reception/use, whether online or offline. The findings presented in the article reveal the intricate and often perplexing ways in which children continue to introspect long after the act of reception, drawing parallels between relationships in their own lives and those they read about or view. The article draws attention to the introspective depth with which children use screen/text relationships as raw material to ponder emotional questions, ones, for instance, on love, hate, detachment, attachment and friendship, and the many ways the media mediate real-life relationships not by setting unreachable ideals to emulate but by offering interpretive pathways.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : August 2013
DOI : 10.1177/0267323113483604
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2013
Uncontrolled Keywords : Audience research; Children and media; Emotions; Popular culture/entertainment; Relationships
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 14 Jul 2017 07:26
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:54

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