Search for Moral Support, or Escape from Reality? Media Psychological Analysis of the Russian Segment in the World Hobbit Project Databaseстатья

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[1] Search for moral support, or escape from reality? media psychological analysis of the russian segment in the world hobbit project database / M. Larisa, P. Elena, M. Knyazeva, N. Irina // Participations. Journal of Audience & Reception Studies. — 2016. — Vol. 13, no. 2. — P. 406–429. In this essay we look at dominant reasons for positive and negative attitudes to the Hobbit films on the part of the Russian Federation viewers through their expressed regrets (Q9) and their portraits deduced from qualitative answers characterizing their attitude to the book (Q21), and information on cultural predilections of the viewers. Another correlation we are looking more closely into, is with the chosen and rejected type of films as reflected in the answers to Qs4-6. Our observations are supported by comparisons with the USA, Swedish and French segments, which have very close numbers of respondents. The hypothesis we are testing with our research concerns the general mode of fantasy films consumption in the Russian Federation: we suppose it to be based on seeking moral support in life rather than on pure distraction from reality attributed generally to a reaction called ‘escapism’. Discussion of the results touches also upon the influence on the respondents’ reaction of cultural and political dimensions. Keywords: Tolkien, Peter Jackson, Russian viewers, Fantasy reception, mediapsychology, cultural background, Fandom studies, escapism, moral values.

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