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Title: 'To be number one in someone's eyes...': Children's introspections about close relationships in reading Harry Potter
Authors: Das, Ranjana
First Published: 1-Aug-2013
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: European Journal of Communication, 2013, 28 (4), pp. 454-469
Abstract: 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.
DOI Link: 10.1177/0267323113483604
ISSN: 0267-3231
eISSN: 1460-3705
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2013, SAGE Publications. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Media and Communication

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