Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Young love can be torture: An autoethnography exploring the making of “High School Sweethearts”
by Gartside, Will, M.A., Marquette University, 2009, 269; 1470392
Abstract (Summary)

We experience and comprehend life as a series of ongoing narratives, and these narratives are heavily reliant upon the frames we consciously and unconsciously use to define ourselves within them. Though previous research indicates that the consumption of violent media either increase aggressive constructs in viewers (Bushman, 1998), desensitize viewers to domestic and sexual violence (e.g., Donnerstein & Penrod, 1988; Mullin & Linz, 1995) or prime individuals to make hostile attributions about the behavior of others (e.g., Thomas & Drabman, 1978; Bargh and Pietromonaco, 1982; Wann and Branscombe, 1990; Zelli, Huesmann, & Cervone, 1995), my own experiences as a consumer and producer of graphically violent horror films suggest otherwise. Consequently, my thesis is an autoethnography that details my own emotional, psychological and social factors as they relate to the scripting and shooting of my latest horror film High School Sweethearts.

This autoethnography presents a self-reflexive personal narrative about what it means to create violence as a form of entertainment, and it combines making-of-the-film vignettes with this self-analysis to better understand why I willingly consume and create violent imagery, which in turn contributes to the culture of violence. Furthermore, this thesis implicitly challenges the orthodox transmission view of communication by arguing that certain forms of communication, such as horror films, are best understood through the ritual model of communication.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Garner, Ana
Commitee: Chattopadhyay, Sumana, Scotton, James
School: Marquette University
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- Wisconsin
Source: MAI 48/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Mass communications, Film studies
Keywords: Autoethnography, Film, Horror, Production, Torture porn
Publication Number: 1470392
ISBN: 978-1-109-50832-1
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