Chapter 2: Buying into American Idol

These are the questions and discussion topics from Convergence Culture chapter 2 that we did not get to in class:

Chapter 2: Buying into American Idol

How do you think current television seeks to locate, understand, and manipulate the emotional underpinnings of viewers? Draw examples from shows and episodes in particular if you can.

How are "brand communities" built? How are this community's desires molded and commoditized by the network and its sponsors?

How do shows you know attempt to tap into "emotional capital" and establish a "lovemark"? How do sponsors incorporate themselves into this "emotional capital"? How do these relationships extend past a television show's airtime, and into the viewers daily life?

What are the advantages in "brand communities" that are sprouting up after television programs or certain commercial products? What are the problems with new "brand communities" formed by networks and advertisers replacing more traditional non-corporately created culture? Does it concern you that so many people are deeply embedded in these consumerist cultures that ritualize the episode watching?

How do these "brand communities" keep corporations in check by the increased scrutiny they provide? How do these communities formulate and enact values, even going so far as imposing them upon the corporation?