Audience Replies to Character Blogs as Parasocial Relationships

Audience Replies to Character Blogs as Parasocial Relationships

James D. Robinson (University of Dayton, USA) and Robert R. Agne (Auburn University, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-984-7.ch123
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Abstract

News anchors, talk show hosts, and soap opera characters often become objects of parasocial affection because of the nature of these program genres. This chapter explores the concept of parasocial interaction by focusing on audience replies to blog posts made on behalf of a TV character, Jessica Buchanan of ABC Television Network’s One Life to Live show. The authors employ communication accommodation theory to illuminate the concept and to identify specific communicative behaviors that occur during parasocial interaction. The chapter presents evidence of parasocial interaction within the blog replies and audience accommodation to the blog posts. Analysis suggests that parasocial interaction is the mediated manifestation of the relationship dimension inherent in television messages and used by audience members in much the same way it is used during face-to-face interaction.

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