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About the School

Entertainment Communication

Graduate School of Communication

Thesis examples from Laura Ballyn and Leanne van der Struis.

Romcom Relationship or Sitcom Single? Comparison of Hyperfeminine Stereotypes, Counter-Stereotypes, and Their Reactions in Sitcoms and Romcoms - Laura Ballyn

This paper looks into hyperfemininity, counter-hyperfemininity, and the reactions to both concepts for situational comedy television shows in comparison to romantic comedy films. These genres are highly popular with adolescents, for whom television and film are two main sources of information with regards to sexuality and gender. Therefore, studying this content is relevant and necessary to determine what this susceptible audience is confronted with on both the big and small screen. The main goal of this research was to discover how the display of hyperfemininity and counter-hyperfemininity through statements and reactions differs in sitcoms and romcoms. The analyses showed that romcoms display more hyperfeminine expectations towards men, while simultaneously showing its viewers higher levels of certain counter-hyperfeminine ideas. However, in these movies the hyperfeminine stereotype is often confirmed through affirmative reactions, while counter-hyperfeminine statements receive negative responses. Sitcoms seem to paint a less stereotypical image with characters more frequently giving positive reactions towards counter-hyperfemininity. Overall it can be concluded that, to some extent, romcoms appear to tell a more hyperfeminine story than sitcoms.

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Friendship and Betrayal: An Exploratory Study of Parasocial Relationships and Brand-Related Content on YouTube - Leanne van der Struis

This thesis is an exploratory study, with the aim to provide insight in how brand-related content is perceived by viewers who experience a parasocial relationship with a YouTuber. This study is extending the line of research on the experience and development of parasocial relationships. In previous studies, this concept has been linked to media figures such as actors and presenters, but not yet to YouTubers. Moreover, this study provides practical insights on how brand-related content should or should not be incorporated in the YouTuber’s videos, which might be valuable information to brands and YouTubers. A qualitative study was conducted that included 10 face-to-face interviews with a diverse sample of Dutch women between the ages of 19 and 23. All participants were devoted viewers of YouTubers from the beauty, fashion and lifestyle genre that create brand-related content from time to time. These YouTubers and their content were the focal point in the interviews. After transcribing, coding and analyzing the data, it can be concluded that all participants experienced a parasocial relationship with their favorite YouTuber. Also, there were four primary perceptions of the brand-related content found: the participants were either annoyed by the brand-related content, interested in the brand-related content, they perceived the brand-related content as questionable, or they perceived the brand-related content as neutral.

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