06 SES 10, Learning With Digital Media In and Out Of School
Parallel Paper Session<br /> Chair: Yvonne Fritze
Not only in Europe, but all over the world millions of people watch a soap opera day after day. Some viewers are passionate fans because they have been watching their favorite show for many years and it became part of their everyday life (Spence 2005). Female viewers like soap operas in particular because the stories focus on relationships and emotions (ibd.). Especially young girls between 10 and 15 years prefer this genre because it offers different characters which help them developing their own identity (Goetz 2002).
Some fans do not only watch a soap opera, but like to discuss it with other fans, write fan fiction stories about the characters of the show and create own videos with their favorite scenes (e.g. Jenkins 2006a; Hellekson 2006). Some of these videos are also uploaded with subtitles in different languages to video sharing websites like “YouTube”. Accordingly, it is easy to watch TV shows from all over the world.
Soap operas are very popular among German adolescents, too. After comedies and sitcoms they are their second-favorite TV genre (mpfs 2010). “Hand aufs Herz” (Hand on Heart) is a popular German soap opera. The plot takes place at a fictional school in Cologne and tackles typical developmental issues of adolescence, such as relationships, drug abuse, coming out or career choices. When the TV station cancelled “Hand aufs Herz” in the summer of 2011, various protest campaigns from fans all over Europe (and even from other continents) were organized in order to save the show and it became clear that the soap opera had a huge international fan base. The extent of this protest campaign, which was part of different news media, appeared to be exceptionally and called for further scientific analysis.
Based on theoretical foundations of fandom research as well as media activities and participation (e.g. Lewis 1992; Baym 2000; Schroeder et al. 2003; Van Zoonen 2004; Scardaville 2005; Jenkins 2006b; Drotner & Schroeder 2010; Tulodziecki, Herzig & Grafe 2010) this empirical case study analyzes media reception and participation activities of fans of the soap opera “Hand aufs Herz”. The following research questions are addressed:
1. Which kinds of fan activities take place (especially in the context of the protest campaigns)?
2. To which extend are the actors and the producers of the show also involved in the fan communication at social networking sites?
3. Which consequences for learning with media and media literacy education at school can be derived from the digital media activities that fans show in this informal learning context?
Baym, N. (2000): Tune in, Log on – Soap, Fandom and Online Community. London: Sage Drotner, K. & Schroeder, K. (Ed.) (2010): Digital Content Creation: Creativity, Competence, Critique. New York: Peter Lang Goetz, M. (Ed.) (2002): Alles Seifenblasen? Die Bedeutung von Daily Soaps im Alltag von Kindern und Jugendlichen. München: kopaed Hellekson, K. (Ed.) (2006): Fan fiction and Fan communities in the Age of the Internet - Jefferson: McFarland Jenkins, H. (2006a): Convergence Culture - Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: University Press Jenkins, H. (2006b): Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education forthe 21st Century. Chicago: MacArthur Foundation. Available online at http://digitallearning.macfound.org/atf/cf/%7B7E45C7E0-A3E0-4B89-AC9C-E807E1B0AE4E%7D/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF (24.01.2012) Lewis, L. (Ed.) (1992): The adoring audience - Fan Culture and Popular Media. London: Routledge mpfs (2010): JIM-Studie 2010. Jugend, Information, (Multi-)Media. Basisuntersuchung 12-19-Jähriger. Stuttgart: mpfs Scardaville, M. C. (2005): Accidental Activists. Fan Activism in the Soap Opera Community. In: American Behavioral Scientist 48/7, pp. 881-901 Schroeder, K./ Drotner, K./ Kline, S./ Murray, C. (2003): Researching Audiences: A Practical Guide to Methods in Media Audience Analysis. London: Edward Arnold Spence. L. (2005): Watching Daytime Soap Opera - The Power of Pleasure. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press Tulodziecki, G. / Herzig, B./ Grafe, S. (2010): Medienbildung in Schule und Unterricht. Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt/ UTB Van Zoonen, L. (2004): Imagining the Fan Democracy. In: European Journal of Communication 19/1, pp. 39-52
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