Skip to main content

Understanding superpowers in contemporary television fiction

Buy Article:

$10.35 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

The presence of the supernatural is a recurrent component in contemporary television fiction series. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer (19972003), to Charmed (19982006), and Heroes (2006), audiences follow the narratives of otherwise ordinary characters that are attributed extraordinary abilities. Naturally, superheroes have been the focus of research within different fields, offering understandings within the framework of psychology and anthropology (Bettelheim 1976; Barrett 2004; Boyer 2002) or sociology, and as cultural myth (Partridge 2004 and 2005; Lawrence and Jewett 2002). The article argues that the salience of superpowers should not solely be understood through a sociological framework or as a common psychological feature in humans, but rather that both approaches are relevant when attempting to grasp the phenomenon. Thus, the article attempts to uncover questions of gratification and fascination for audiences on a mental, as well as on a societal level.

Keywords: cognition; collective mourning; daydreams; popular culture; superpowers; television fiction

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/nl.6.1.91_1

Affiliations: University of Copenhagen.

Publication date: June 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
intellect/nl/2008/00000006/00000001/art00007
dcterms_title,dcterms_description,pub_keyword
6
5
20
40
5

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
UA-1313315-26
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more