JOMC303 parasocial.docx - Fans of celebrities and...

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Fans of celebrities and parasocial relationships: A Content Analysis Parasocial relationships refer to celebrity fan worship. We all know people who dress like their favorite celebrity, talk and act like them. It is as if the fan has developed a close bond with the celebrity. They are like family. Unfortunately, the relationships are mostly one way. The celebrity has no close bond to the fan. They, more than likely, don’t know the fan on an individual basis. But you can’t tell the fan that! Such relationships really come to life on social media after the celebrity dies, as people post condolences on the celebrities’ social media pages professing their love for the celebrity and evidence of profound grief. These parasocial relationships can continue months or years after the celebrity has died. Look at Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson’s official Facebook pages. People are still posting to the site. What I want you to do is select a favorite celebrity of yours who has died and conduct a content analysis of how fans are expressing their grief over his/her death from the celebrities’ Facebook or other social media page. One place to look for posts is legacy.com. - search.aspx . Put in first, last name and keyword, such as singer, comedian. Find condolences on the guestbook page. Hypothesis: Fans of the celebrity will have developed a strong, parasocial relationship with their celebrity that continues even after death. Unit of Analysis : Each individual condolence (post). Study 50 posts! : Whitney Houston
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Coding Booklet and Sheet Post # # refs to RIP #refs to profound grief, i.e, deep sense of loss. (It’s hard to live with- out you. How can I go on? #refs to how celebrity has helped them through a crisis, served as a source of inspiration, aspiration during diffi- cult times #refs to perceived closeness to celebrity, like fam- ily, best friend, spouse
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