"Fifty Shades of Grey: Representations and merchandising." (2020) The Political Economy of Communication
This article interrogates the ideological messages concerning alternative sexuality furthered through Fifty Shades of Grey merchandise. Using critical political economy of media and feminist political economy of media as frameworks, the analysis is framed within a discussion regarding women’s empowerment and sexual wellbeing. The corporate interests producing both the Fifty Shades of Grey film trilogy, the narrative’s representation of BDSM relationships, and the official merchandise are examined to determine how the franchise reflects corporate interests and ideological goals. Next, exemplary merchandise is analysed to question how the products may or may not support the ideological and financial goals of corporate interests. The conclusion finds that the merchandise, working in tandem with the texts themselves and corporate intentions, spreads potentially dangerous misinformation about alternative sexualities (e.g. BDSM), reifies consumption as the avenue toward empowerment and sexual satisfaction, and highlights dangerous heteronormative ideologies which marginalize non-normative sexualities and romance.
"Don't just watch, join in: Exploring information behavior and copresence on Twitch." (2020) Computers in Human Behavior
Diwanji, V., Reed, A., Ferchaud, A., Seibert, J., Sellers, N., & Weibrecht, V.
This mixed-methods study examined users’ information behavior and their perceptions of copresence on Twitch.tv, where millions of people come together live every day to stream, interact, and make their own entertainment. Human information theory model and social identity theory constituted the theoretical framework for this research. Studying topic specific live streaming services is an emerging and exciting field in communication. Topic specific live streaming sites such as Twitch.tv are evolving constantly into important sources of information
that complement the traditional information systems such as libraries and online search engine sites like
Google. Chat logs of three live streams on Twitch.tv were analyzed using Linguistic Query and Word Count (LIWC) and SPSS statistical tools. Qualitative thematic analysis was carried out using Nvivo 12. Information reaction and production were the most frequent information behaviors across three streams. Qualitative analysis indicated that users within the three live streams showed a great deal of copresence. This study is an important first step to provide theoretical insights into understanding human information behavior on Twitch, topic specific live streaming sites, and social live streaming sites in general.
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast, and Disney’s commodification of feminism: A political economic analysis" (2018) Social Sciences
Koushik, K., & Reed, A.
This paper seeks to explore the strategies Hollywood utilizes to capitalize on feminist social movements through replacing hegemonic male characters with female ones or updating traditional stories through a more “feminist” retelling. By analyzing both 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Beauty and the Beast as representative of this corporate trend, we critique the ways in which these pseudo-feminist texts not only contribute little to the social conversation surrounding the evolving roles of women and their representations in media through the lenses of critical political economy, feminist political economy, and feminist film criticism. We conclude that creating “feminist” reimaginings of classic narratives ultimately serves to uphold the existing economic structures that maintain social and financial capital within the largest Hollywood studios. Thus, little to no social progress is made through the creation of these retellings.
"Spreading the Good News: Analyzing Socially Shared Inspirational News Content" (2018) Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Ji, Q., Raney, A. A., Janicke-Bowles, S. H., Dale, K. R., Oliver, M. B., Reed, A., Seibert, J. M., Raney, A. A.
Past research indicates that people often share awe-inspiring news online. However, little is known about the content of those stories. In this study, more broadly defined “inspirational” articles shared through The New York Times website over a 6-month period were analyzed, with the goals of describing the content and identifying characteristics that might predict inspirationality and measures of retransmission. The results provided a snapshot of content found within inspirational news stories; they also revealed that self-transcendent language use predicted the inspirationality of a news story, as well as how long an article appeared on a most shared list.