Identifying the Antecedents of Identification: Character, Text, and Audiences

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An important component of narrative involvement is identification, the taking on of a character’s emotions and perspective and adopting his or her goals. After carefully defining identification, the chapter turns to a brief discussion of some of its consequences such as enjoyment, interpretation, moral disengagement and influences on the self. The chapter then provides a critical examination and synthesis of studies that examine the determinants of identification. Determinants include viewing context, narrative features, audience traits, character features and various aspects of similarity between characters and audiences. After reviewing these studies the chapter suggests some conclusions and insights into the nature of identification that can be gleaned from this literature.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of narrative absorption
EditorsF. Hakemulder, M. Kuijpers, E. Tan, M. Doicaru, K. Balint
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)1569-3112
StatePublished - 2017

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