The Interplay Between Archetypes and Autobiography in Mass Media Preferences

Elizabeth C. Hirschman, Rutgers University
ABSTRACT - The present research utilized a reader-response approach to explore the preferences consumers have for motion pictures and television shows. Analytical emphasis was placed upon the semiotic features contained within consumers’ favorite films and programs, especially those of an archetypic and/or mythic nature. It was found that consumers typically intertwined aspects of their autobiographical narratives with story structures and archetypic figures drawn from their favorite mass media texts. Among these were the figures of the Low Born Hero, the Corrupted Hero, the Warrior, the Good Father and Utopia. Preferred motion picture and television narratives were also used to overcome implicit oppositions consumers encountered in life, such as the Real versus the Ideal, the Self versus Others and Choice versus Chance.
[ to cite ]:
Elizabeth C. Hirschman (2004) ,"The Interplay Between Archetypes and Autobiography in Mass Media Preferences", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 168-173.