Publication details [#56162]

Spreckels, Janet. 2012. ‘I wanna become a real rock star’. Para-social interactions of German adolescent girls with television talent shows. In Gerhardt, Cornelia and Ruth Ayaß, eds. The Appropriation of Media in Everyday Life. (Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 224). John Benjamins. pp. 161–194.
Publication type
Article in book
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins


This ethnographic and conversation analytical study is based on authentic informal conversations of a group of German adolescent girls. The speakers regularly appropriate bits and pieces of media discourse and embed them in their daily communication. One prominent activity in the group’s communicative repertoire are para-social interactions, i.e. viewers’ engagements with television shows. This study investigates the various linguistic resources and communicative strategies of the girls’ appropriation of texts from a particular music talent show. Furthermore, it explores the discursive and pragmatic functions of media engagements in this group and in general. The analysis shows that the standardized range of the mass media today do not necessarily result in a homogeneous audience reception because viewers read television texts in various ways.