Identifying response strategies to deviation in absorbing narratives
Katalin Bálint | University of Augsburg, Germany
Frank Hakemulder | Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Moniek M. Kuijpers | The Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Germany
Miruna M. Doicaru | NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
Ed S. Tan | University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The experience of deviation is often referred to as foregrounding and contrasted with the experience of feeling absorbed in a narrative. However, instead of simply assuming that foregrounding and absorption are mutually exclusive, they should also be considered as co-occurring: being absorbed as a result of a deviating aspect of a story. In the present paper we examine the co-occurrence of responses by means of a data-driven qualitative approach. The analysis of interviews about absorbed experiences with written and cinematic fictional narratives focused on occurrences of and responses to perceived deviation. We identified seven strategies in response to deviation that may be described through three underlying dimensions: absorption, agency, and valence. Findings suggest that perceived deviation, rather than obstructing absorption, is associated with intense and meaningful engagement with narratives.
Keywords: narratives, deviating style, narrative absorption, qualitative approach, foregrounding
Published online: 30 March 2017
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