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dc.contributor.advisorThornley, Davinia
dc.contributor.advisorSlotten, Hugh
dc.contributor.authorBanks, Chloe Anne
dc.date.available2018-08-22T02:43:12Z
dc.date.copyright2018
dc.identifier.citationBanks, C. A. (2018). United States of Shondaland: Investigating the para-social contact of white audiences with Black Lives Matter (Thesis, Master of Arts). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/8292en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/8292
dc.description.abstractRace relations in the United States are an ongoing issue that is presented differently by different groups. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 fostered the myth of a post- racial nation, where racial inequalities no longer existed, and racism was seen as individualised, rather than structural and institutional. Television shows airing during this time reproduced this post-racial myth, especially television shows produced by Shonda Rhimes’ company, Shondaland. At this specific moment in time, in the US, the post-racial myth is being disrupted by activist groups, like Black Lives Matter [BLM]; while President Donald Trump and his followers try to keep the post-racial myth intact. This thesis investigates the connection between watching racially diverse television shows and empathy with groups outside the participant’s subject position, specifically, BLM. This thesis is driven by three research questions: Do non-stereotypical portrayals of African Americans prime white audience members to take a favourable view of race relations in general? How do viewers of Shondaland television shows interpellate the stories told in Shondaland into their interactions with people in their social world? Is there a correlation between watching Shondaland and having stronger endorsement for groups like BLM or other ‘minority’ issues? This thesis uses the concept of para-social contact to unpack the connection between the white audience who watch post-racial Shondaland shows and their empathy or support for movements like BLM versus the white audience of more white-centric television shows and their comparative views on the movement. Using audience research methods to explore white people’s television viewing, this thesis maps out how those who are more exposed to Black, post-racial, television characters are more inclined to support the BLM movement. This thesis found that those white participants who are not exposed to such representations are not as empathetic to the movement. By combining critical race theory and audience research methodology this thesis provides a unique examination of these questions.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectpost-race
dc.subjectpara-social contact
dc.subjectBlack Lives Matter
dc.subjectShondaland
dc.subjectcritical race theory
dc.subjectaudience reception
dc.titleUnited States of Shondaland: Investigating the para-social contact of white audiences with Black Lives Matter
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2018-08-22T02:14:48Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineMedia, Film and Communication Studies
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Arts
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelMasters
otago.openaccessOpen
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