Coming Together and Apart While Reading Popular Cultural Texts: Identities in Media Reception

IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities. 2014;2(1):3-16 DOI 10.22492/ijah.2.1.01


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities

ISSN: 2187-0616 (Online)

Publisher:  The International Academic Forum

LCC Subject Category: Fine Arts: Arts in general | General Works: History of scholarship and learning. The humanities

Country of publisher: Japan

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Ewa Glapka (University of the Free State, South Africa)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Although reading is popularly considered to be a solitary experience, in linguistics and literature studies the social nature of reading has been widely recognized. Accordingly, it is posited here that due to their inherently interactive and interpersonal character, media texts cannot be related to other than intersubjectively. Based on data gathered during research on teenage media reception, this article demonstrates that the "imagined communities" (Anderson, 1991) constructed in media discourse provoke in readers a sense of belonging and sharing a specific identity, and that the trajectories of readers’ emotional involvement also includes alienation from the textually constituted communities. The same dynamic of coming closer and away concerns the recipients’ significant others to whom they relate intertextually in media discourse. In analyzing these issues, this study shows the social and psychological complexity of media consumption as well as the research value of exploring it for cultural and social studies.