The Importance of Identification with Fictional Characters

By Jana Krátká.

Published by The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 13, 2014 $US5.00

The article arises from case study experiences being made with the Czech and Slovak audiences of the TV series “Sex and the City”. This media product can be considered a striking example of spontaneous social and emotional learning right in front of a TV screen. The following study sets itself the task to find out how much experiential and socio-emotional learning depends on identification with fictional characters. Viewers of popular TV series get experiences with a variety of topics through various fictional characters’ stories. We found out that this form of experiential learning comes from a viewer-fictional character identification process which is itself a part of a broader process of (self)reflection. A deep comparison of a fictional character and its situation with oneself is a crucial part of social and emotional learning. Through the characters we identify with, we can usually get into new situations as well as into those which we already experienced before, with an additional potential to learn. Although educational environments arising from fictional character-ourselves discoveries may sometimes seem a bit chaotic, this process remains an irreplaceable and elementary form of lifelong learning.

Keywords: Experiential Learning, Identification, Fictional Character

The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning, Volume 20, Issue 1, March 2014, pp.43-59. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 13, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 692.871KB)).

Dr. Jana Krátká

Assistant Professor, Department of Education, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, Czech Republic

Jana Krátká, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at Department of Education, Faculty of Education, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. The areas of her interest include health education and specific branches of media education such as fictional characters' identification and many others.