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Diversity and Unity in the TV Show Community


Anders, Lisann (2020). Diversity and Unity in the TV Show Community. Alcalá de Henares, Madrid: PopMeC Research Blog.

Abstract

What is a community? And what does it mean in the context of contemporary American popular culture? The TV show Community tackles these questions in a creative way. It looks at how communities are constructed but also idealizes them in a fictional way. The show is constantly aware of its fictionality and is thus self-reflexive in its representation of communities. It is aware of its own constructedness and of the way in which American life is represented. The aim of this article is to analyze what effects a (constructed) community can have on individuals by means of the group relationship in the show. It is to be shown that a community is a major part in shaping and changing one’s individual values and thus has an effect on a person’s character and identity traits by drawing on Benedict Anderson’s concept of “imagined communities” and by incorporating director Joe Russo’s thoughts on the series. Eventually, it will be argued that the consequence of an individual’s change is a change of the dynamics of the community. Hence, by means of the effects of a person’s change by a community, the community itself is changed. That again means that such a portrayal on TV can serve as a role model of an ideal vision of a community and opens perspectives on possibilities of social change.

Abstract

What is a community? And what does it mean in the context of contemporary American popular culture? The TV show Community tackles these questions in a creative way. It looks at how communities are constructed but also idealizes them in a fictional way. The show is constantly aware of its fictionality and is thus self-reflexive in its representation of communities. It is aware of its own constructedness and of the way in which American life is represented. The aim of this article is to analyze what effects a (constructed) community can have on individuals by means of the group relationship in the show. It is to be shown that a community is a major part in shaping and changing one’s individual values and thus has an effect on a person’s character and identity traits by drawing on Benedict Anderson’s concept of “imagined communities” and by incorporating director Joe Russo’s thoughts on the series. Eventually, it will be argued that the consequence of an individual’s change is a change of the dynamics of the community. Hence, by means of the effects of a person’s change by a community, the community itself is changed. That again means that such a portrayal on TV can serve as a role model of an ideal vision of a community and opens perspectives on possibilities of social change.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Scientific Publication in Electronic Form
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:November 2020
Deposited On:22 Dec 2020 13:15
Last Modified:22 Dec 2020 13:16
Publisher:PopMeC Research Blog
Series Name:PopMeC Research Blog
Number of Pages:16
ISSN:2660-8839
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://popmec.hypotheses.org/3274
Related URLs:https://popmec.hypotheses.org/3285 (Publisher)

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