What Teens Like To Watch On Television Fiction Programmes: Findings From A Catalan Study

TitleWhat Teens Like To Watch On Television Fiction Programmes: Findings From A Catalan Study
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Fedele, M., N. García-Muñoz, and E. Prado
Affiliation (1st Author)Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
Section or WGAudience Section
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodeAUDW4b
Slot Code (Keyword)AUDW4b
Time of Session16:00-17:30
Session TitleYouth Media Consumption: Behaviour and Practice I
Submission ID5905

This paper presents the main results of a research about adolescents’ consumption of television fiction programmes, focusing on their preferences regarding fiction genres and characteristics. The study was carried out within the GRISS research team of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, in the context of two frame projects: one founded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (ref.: SEJ2006-10067) and another founded by the Catalan Government (2008FI_B00641). Young people’s preference for fiction among television programming has stimulated research about their consumption of this television macro genre, especially since the 1980s. Previous research has identified young people’s main preferences and motivations for watching fiction programmes and the principal functions that this kind of television products can develop in adolescents’ daily life (e.g., Carveth i Alexander,1985; Lemish, 1985; Buckingham, 1987; Pasquier, 1999; Gillispie, 1995; Hobson, 2004; among others). On the other hand, current situation and so-called digital era must be taken into account in media research, especially referring to young audiences, who were born in a completely mediatised environment (Drotner, 2000; Caldwell, 2004; Spigel & Olsson, 2004; Carlsson, 2006; Livingstone et al., 2001; Ekström and Tufte, 2007, among others). Based on the theoretical framework of Cultural and Audiences Studies, the study intended to apply previous findings in the Catalan context, and, at the same time, to take into account adolescents’ relation with older and newer media technologies. Its main objectives were: a)      To identify Catalan adolescents’ preferences regarding fiction genres and formats; b)      To identify Catalan adolescents’ preferences regarding plots and characters represented in fiction programmes; c)       To identify Catalan adolescents’ main gratifications and uses of television fiction programmes. The study consisted of a reception analysis carried out in Barcelona (Catalonia) through both quantitative and qualitative techniques. First, an online survey was administered to two hundred and thirty-nine high school students, aged 15 to 18. Second, three focus groups with eight participants each were carried out. Finally, data triangulation permitted to go deeper into adolescents’ opinions and behaviours. Several aspects of adolescents’ preferences regarding fiction programmes can be emphasised, such as their predilection for both drama serials and animated sit-coms, their fondness for plots based on interpersonal relationships, and their preference for funny and entertaining characters. Finally, their double taste for US and Spanish programmes can be characterised according to the following equation: “US programmes = greater quality, Spanish programmes = greater identification”.

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