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Title: Forført af idealer
Authors: Williams, Katrine Pihl
Advisor: Munch, Claus
Keywords: Bourdieu parasocial
John B. Thompson Twilight Romantic novels
Examination Date: 9-Jul-2010
Issue Date: 12-Jul-2011
Abstract: This master dissertation explores the relationship between women’s lives and their reading practice of the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. Initially, the present, and the most relevant, research about women's reading practices are reviewed, and hereby conjoined with parasocial relationships between romance novel readers and heroes and heroines. The research revolves the interconnections between participants' experiences of reading and their personal and family relationship. The study is based on semi structured qualitative interviews with eleven Danish women. The women are divided into two groups, based on Pierre Bourdieu's theory of capital; the dominating class and the dominated class, where the women also are divided by their material status. The two main theoretical frames are based on sociological theories; Bourdieu's notion of habitus, cultural and social capital and masculine domination, and John B. Thompson's notion on mediated quasi-interaction. Firstly, the empirical study of the verbalized reading experiences is related with the ideals of society, which are emphasized as female ideals. A high education, career prosperity, and perfect motherhood are amongst the central distinctions between the women, these idealized goals create a conflict in the women's lives. This results illuminates a need for equal rights for women. Therefore, the women tend to turn to their reading practices, as an escape from the different types of pressure, they are under. Secondly, the Twilight Saga characterizes the hero as the ideal man, and the hero's and heroine's relationship as the ideal one. Through the reading practices the women are also presented by these ideals, which they tend to integrate in their own lives. Where the women in relationships mainly find inspiration from the saga, the single women uses the books to create a parasocial relation to the hero. The masculine overtones of Twilight are further highlighted. Thirdly, the mediated quasi-interaction between the reader and text is explored. The majority of the women have established a form of parasocial relationship with the characters; on the downside, this can have a non intended harmful influence on their current relationships. Moreover, the women in the dominated class find strength through the identification with the heroine. Hereafter, the hard-changable habitus is discussed in the light of symbolic interaction between the reader and the text, the dissertation's conclusion is that the mediated, and parasocial interaction shows sign of a possibility of a change in the women's habitus, in a positive way. Finally, the dissertation proposes an empirical foundation for further studies in the communication between women and their roles as mothers, wives and employees, due to the obvious conflict with regards to equal rights for women.
Subject: Thesis
Education: Kommunikation / Communication - Master thesis
Appears in Collections:Projektrapporter og specialer / Projectreports and master thesis
Kommunikation rapporter / Communication Studies projects

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