• IDENTITY AND IDENTIFICATION THROUGH THE CHANGING VIEWS, EXPECTATIONS, AND REPRESENTATIONS OF FAMILY ON TELEVISION

      Lombard, Matthew; Rodríguez, Clemencia; Murphy, Patrick D. (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
      With a focus on the psychological process of identification with media characters, this thesis builds upon existing research about the various representations of familial structures in fictional television and their effect on audience members. Using survey data to inquire about how modern television’s evolving definitions of family could impact viewer responses to accessible programming allows for further exploration of the role that the familial aspects and nuances which are portrayed on television may play in the way that viewers experience identification with these characters. After performing a quantitative and qualitative analysis of survey responses, given modest results it can be concluded that similarity between the viewer’s family and the family of an on-screen character is a predictor of identification between the viewer and that character. We gain, through this research, a deeper understanding of trends in how participants experience identification with fictional families and individuals. Furthermore, we can better understand how audiences could be influenced by seeing (or not seeing) families that resemble one’s own in entertainment media.