A new study reveals that the viewers of web series experience mediated connectedness and solidarity with each other, which allow them to discuss social issues and create awareness and political criticism.
The viewers get connected while they comment on social media after watching web series. This link among them also started with an emotional public sphere where social solidarity and productive arguments produced later, stated the study. Besides, critical views on politics, gender roles, patriarchy, and nationalism were produced through the researched online comment space.
University of Texas researcher Claire Shinhea analyzed 2,032 users comments at the initial stage of the YouTube web series Lauren, season one. Among all the comments, she later worked on 800 comments and analyzed them through the qualitative content analysis method.
The researcher found that many audiences for Lauren, under a channel called WIGS, were connected to the main characters of the drama. And the viewers were experiencing an intimate relationship with the lead roles and treated them as their close friends.
According to the study, some people were considering and viewed WIGS and Lauren as feminist contents. “Thank you for exposing the power of feminism and its movement,” one person said.
To read more: https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305118820766
Lee, C. S. (2019). Web Series, YouTube, and Politics: Affective and Emotional Dimensions of WIGS Lauren’s User Comments.Social Media + Society.https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305118820766