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  • 1.
    Axelson, Tomas
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Media and Communication Studies.
    Movies and meaning: studying audience, fiction film and existential matters2008In: Participations, ISSN 1749-8716, E-ISSN 1749-8716, Vol. 5, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In what ways and under what circumstances can a movie be a resource for individuals and their thoughts about existential matters? This central research question has been investigated using a both quantitative and qualitative approach. First, a questionnaire was distributed amongst 179 Swedish students to provide a preliminary overview of film habits. The questionnaire was also used as a tool for selecting respondents to individual interviews. Second, focus group and individual interviews were conducted, with viewers choosing their favourite movie of all time. In the study socio-cognitive theory and a schema-based theoretical tool is adopted to analyze how different viewers make use of movies as cultural products in an interplay between culture and cognition in three contexts; a socio-historic process, a socio-cultural interaction with the world and inner psychological processes. The viewers in the study seem to be inspired by movies as a mediated cultural resource, promoting the development of a personal moral framework with references to values deeply fostered by a humanistic tradition. It is argued that these findings support theories discussing individualised meaning making, developing ‘self-expression values’ and ‘altruistic individualism’ in contemporary western society.

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