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2011 | 2 | 1 | 6-24

Article title

PHENOMENON OF AMUSEMENT AND ROLE OF STEREOTYPES IN PRODUCTION AND ACCEPTANCE OF MEDIA CULTURE (Fenomen zabavy a uloha stereotypov v produkcii a recepcii medialnej kultury)


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The paper deals with the issue of amusement phenomenon and function of stereotypes by production and acceptance of media culture. The goal of submitted text is the analysis of complex row of primary and secondary factors, on the ground of which, the author defines the initial ideas and conclusions. The paper is divided into four, logically ordered and mutually connected ideas and conclusions. The first part was by the author called 'Amusement phenomenon reflection from interdisciplinary points of view.' There are drafted out some views of key disciplines-philosophy, aesthetics, social and cultural anthropology, cognitive psychology, sociology and methodology on ontological origin of amusement. The author comes to conclusions that the phenomenon of amusement in human culture is the result of need, resulting from mental and physical dispositions of individuals. The need to be entertained is culturally related and defined as well. The amusement phenomenon has its formal and content related expression too (verbal, motional, written, symbolical, genre etc.), which takes into consideration and respects given cultural issues (symbols, language, norms, values). There is some specific emotion connected with the acceptance of amusement-fascination that signals the intensity of living by an individual-something unexpected, surprising, shocking, wonder, feelings and states of flush, thrill, etc. The amusement consumption in mass media leads to fantasy escapes from reality to imaginary worlds and to loss of interest in the relevant social questions. In the second part, 'Mental 'corridor' of contemporary society - fascination and phenomenon of amusement,' the author allocates the implications of secularized amusement acting in purviews of processes of progressive infantilism, juvenilization, voyeurisms, carnival show, individualization, reduction, narcissism and hedonism of individuals, who live in funny, humorous, spectacular or adventurous society. She also analyses the phenomenon of mass and pop culture in the context with cardinal changes of society. She comes to the following conclusions: The phenomenon of amusement fills several functions-hedonistic, escapic and therapeutical. The contemporary man is fascinated by media amusement, because it enables him distraction, short-lasting reality escape, change of identity by becoming one of the main protagonists, distance from the suffering of others, riddance of responsibility for the others, etc. On one hand, in the theoretical reflexion of the issue, the authors point at fatal influence of media amusement on an individual and society, and on the other hand they praise its ability to recover the energy, inform, educate and bring up in a non-violent, interesting way. The success of American general popular mass culture in global dimensions proves the global human interest in love, sex, violence, mysticism, hedonism, possessions, as well as the abilities of American commercial companies to use this interest in their advantage. The fascination by amusement enhances the way of self-presentation of recipients, sets the favourite free-time activities, lifestyle and reinforces the effort to liberate from responsibility for the others. The individuals identify themselves with amusement, which offers them various kinds of consuming, exciting show of disparate pictures, rhythms, exotic fads, erotic etc. They act under the media pressure of two antagonistic tendencies. On one hand, they live in the frame of mass culture which offers uniformity, standardization, homogenization, 'hyperconsum.' On the other hand, their pop-culture resistance leads to extreme individualism, to an effort to differentiate from the others, exhibition of narcissistic superego and flashy self-presentation. The next part called 'Dominant position of television in the spectrum of media amusement' is dedicated to impact of television on the most important and most watched mass media in the field of amusement production in various types of programmes. The most favourite and watched types of amusement in contemporary TV production are so called easy dramatic genre. The author states that the amusement became the base building principle of other programmes and genres as well, including news or news-documentary genres. The primary duty of TV production is to drag the viewer into the story, which is usually set in some realistically perceived frame. The media content does not usually bring any specific message but simple, not complicated, easy-to-understand amusement, the goal of which is to offer the imagination, dramatic actions and emotions to people. This world is typical for the news and documentaries, which started to be created in the spirit of trivial infotainment. The trend of co called infotainmentization proves it. This trend is the result of public service news being changed into commercial one. Infotainment makes the happening easier, completes, edits according to its own images, dramatizes or changes the authentic events and affirmations about them entirely. The last part, 'Problem of stereotypes in the context of television infotainment, 'deals with mediated and mass media stereotypes in the process of creating specific media reality. According to the author, the stereotypes are present in the frame of creating news service, where the specific elements and methods of infotainment are applied to large extent. She emphasises that when identifying individual elements creating the stereotypes in contemporary TV news service it is necessary to take into consideration the specialities of infotainment and trends, when processing given event, which have been applied mainly in commercial televisions. TV news service in Slovakia has several expressive components and features: infotainmentization (variety and ranking of topics, way of their processing in the way of show), celebritization (extreme personification), exercitation of sharp graphic, dynamic cut and comment elements in news service texts. The author came to a conclusion that TV news service in the context of infotainmentization offers own versions of media reality and in it included media stereotypes.








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  • Doc. PhDr. Hana Pravdova, PhD., Fakulta masmedialnej komunikacie, Univerzita sv. Cyrila a Metoda v Trnave, Slovak Republic


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