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The soft side of mediatization: fiction as a symbolic inventory for vernacular meaning making challenging the 'banal' notion in mediatization theory
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies. (Visuell kultur)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7883-3251
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Abstract The outcome of a case study about contemporary viewing habits in a Swedish audience will support claims about viewers as active and playful (Höijer 1998, Hoover 2006, Plantinga 2009). In line with mediatization theory it is argued that spiritual meaning making is taking place through mediated experiences and supports perspectives that media has become the primary source of religious ideas (Lynch 2007, Hjarvard 2008, 2012). The soft side of mediatization processes is illustrated where results from in-depth interviews show how adults are developing moral and metaphysical ideas by reflecting on themes developed in fiction films (Zillman 2005, Partridge 2008, Oliver & Hartmann 2010).  Vernacular meaning making beyond institutionalized religion, embedded in everyday life, such as viewer’s dealing with fiction narratives such as Pulp Fiction, Love Actually or Gladiator, highlights the need for a more complex understanding of elevated enchantment experiences.  An overly cognitive understanding of these processes is challenged, questioning the ‘banal’ notion in mediatization theory (Hjarvard 2008, 2012, Lövheim 2011, Nybro Petersen 2012). Instead of sticking to the ‘banal’ notion adopted in the mediatization theoretical framework, indicating something predictable, trivial or even dull, the paper strongly argues for a less pejorative concept, giving a more adequate and nuanced description of the interplay between cognition and affects creating emotional response in the audience. The presentation contributes to a development of concepts which combines aesthetic, affective and cognitive components in an investigation of spectator’s moves from emotional evaluation of intra-text narration to extra-textual systems of beliefs and moral assessments (Marsh 2007, Johnston 2007, Axelson 2011). It calls for new ways of understanding audiovisual cinematic input as a form of ‘film thinking’, not equivalent to illustrated philosophy (Frampton 2006, Brodén & Noheden 2013), providing symbolic narratives stirring cognition, powered by affect. 

Tomas Axelson, ThD

Assistant Professor Religious Studies, School of Humanities & Media,

Högskolan Dalarna University, Sweden

Project: Spectator engagement in film and utopian self-reflexivity. Moving Images and Moved Minds. (The Swedish Research Council)

http://www.du.se/sv/AVM/Personal/Tomas-Axelson

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
film, meaning making, vernacular religion, world views, mediatization, enchantment
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Intercultural Studies, Filmengagemang och självets utopiska reflexivitet - den rörliga bildens förmåga att beröra människa på djupet.; Intercultural Studies; Education and Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-13785OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-13785DiVA: diva2:695217
Conference
9th International Conference on Media, Religion, and Culture (IMRC) August 4 - 6 2014 in Canterbury.
Projects
Filmengagemang och självets utopiska reflexivitet. Den rörliga bildens förmåga att beröra
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-02-10 Created: 2014-02-10 Last updated: 2016-06-23Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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