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Responding to the irresponsible : A study on the responses of followers experiencing parasocial relationships with influencers involved in controversial incidents

Spanjaard, P.J.M. (2020) Responding to the irresponsible : A study on the responses of followers experiencing parasocial relationships with influencers involved in controversial incidents.

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Abstract:This exploratory study aims to provide insight in the perceptions and responses of followers with regards to controversial incidents involving influencers that they perceive a parasocial relationship with. Fifteen interviews were conducted, by means of the critical incident technique. The results show that generally, the parasocial relationships that the participants experience can be characterized by an emotional connection, follower dedication, and perceived familiarity, which affects how they respond to critical incidents to a great extent. This influence is twofold: a) dedication and loyalty towards the influencer results in participants being more involved in incidents involving their favourite influencers, and b) the feeling of familiarity increases empathy towards the influencer and fosters the ability to understand their thought processes, which explains why participants tend to be more forgiving and understanding as compared to incidents involving influencers they don’t perceive a parasocial relationship with.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/81609
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