Work In Progress: Applying SMM to Fan Studies

This draft comes from a presentation given at the 2018 MPCA/ACA conference in Indianapolis. Introduction Communication scholar Brenda Dervin created the Sense-Making Methodology as a methodological approach for conducting interviews that draws on metatheoretical concepts such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, and the humanistic approach to psychology. Since its formulation, Sense-Making Methodology (SMM) has been utilized across…

CfC for Book on Mental Illness in Entertainment Media

Call for Chapters for Book Proposal The editors are seeking chapter proposals for a collection of essays that examine positive, healthy, and accurate portrayals of mental illness in entertainment media. Proposed Title: Quieting the Madness: Entertainment Media’s Shift into More Accurate Depictions of Mental Illness Editors: Malynnda A. Johnson (Indiana State University) and Christopher J….

Identification with Favorite Media Personae

I presented this study at my first International Communication Association conference in May 2005. It was the first major study I did by myself in graduate school. I remember making these slides to show on a projector — there was no PowerPoint! I should probably revisit it.  Identification with Favorite Media Personae: A phenomenologically-informed conceptualization of…

Three Approaches to Media Reception and Audience Reception Studies

This paper was part of my 2007 comp exams, or qualification exams, that I needed to complete before being allowed to do my dissertation. This paper basically serves as the backbone for how I understand reception studies and how I do such research. In this paper I will discuss three approaches to understanding audience reception…

The Multiplicity of Virtual Worlds

Our definitions and metaphors: Discussion of how researchers and designers as users make sense of virtual world technologies This short essay reflects a project that occurred before, during and after an international workshop hosted by the Virtual Worlds Research Project.  The goal was to complete a dialogue to help us understand the multiplicity of terms…

Cultivated Learning Theory: Graduate school, year one

In the theory class of the first semester of my first year as a graduate student, I was in a group with two other MA hopefuls, and we wrote a paper on how we would study the topic of how the media influences adolescents’ and young adults’ sexual behaviors.  Always the clever one, I termed…

Minutia reception analysis

Methods for understanding the moment-by-moment reception of interactive media Oftentimes in media studies that focus on understanding media reception by the audience or the user, there is a focus on reception writ large and post-hoc. That is, there is a tendency to consider the reactions to a media product by the audience/user after the engagement…

So, Why Did the Media Fail You?

[This post comes from a 2005 research proposal studying how the media was perceived as hindering people.  The entire proposal, with full citations and references, can be found here.] Broadcasting or traditional media have been studied by the uses and gratifications perspective (UGP) to uncover the reasons people use traditional media (television, radio, newspapers, even film),…

Women and Video Game Addiction: Experimenting with research narratives

This is an experimental research paper relaying women’s stories, gathered with Sense-Making Methodology interviews, of times they felt they were addicted to video games.  My analysis, and thus the framing for this paper’s “narrative”, focuses on the dynamics of power in and around the women’s lives during this period of addiction. This representation of the…