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Jane Austen - från folkkultur till masskultur: En semiotisk analys av filmadaptionen Persuasion (2022)
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities.
2023 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The primary objective of this essay is to examine the process by which the film adaptation Persuasion (2022) has incorporated contemporary trends to cater to a mass audience. The research investigates the following questions: How and what trends have been used to modernize and adapt Persuasion (2022) to a mass audience? What new personality traits have been given to Anne Elliot to make her more relatable in the new adaption? How has the language been altered and adjusted to make the movie modern? How have POC characters been included to modernize the adaption?

Previous research shows that Jane Austen's works have been favored subjects for adaptation projects owing to their enduring relevance to contemporary concerns, such as themes of sex, romance, and wealth. Additionally, prior research highlights the emerging trend of "colorblind" casting in period dramas and shows the impact of mass media's influence over the way we communicate, creating a so-called “internet language”. 

The primary sources employed in this study comprise the Netflix film adaptation Persuasion (2022) and the original novel Persuasion (1818) authored by Jane Austen. The research methodology employed to analyze these materials is a semiotic text and content analysis, augmented by discourse analysis techniques, with a specific focus on the concept of discourse to explore underlying discourses evident in trends. The theoretical framework being used in the analysis are: The culture industry (Adorno and Horkheimer), Infotainment (Robertson), medialization, globalization, popular culture, tokenism, cancel culture and trends.

The analysis of the study reveals various trends that have been incorporated into Persuasion (2022) to resonate with a contemporary mass audience. The protagonist Anne Elliot is portrayed with modernized stereotypical female traits, transitioning from a delicate, elegant, and reserved character to an awkward, clumsy, outspoken, and desperate individual. Furthermore, the language utilized in the film has been updated and contemporized to align with the sensibilities of a modern audience, incorporating "21st-century buzzwords" and "Gen Z-language" featuring sexual innuendos and references to modern dating practices. Lastly, it was observed that the inclusion of a diverse cast aimed at projecting a more inclusive image, adhering to prevailing societal standards, albeit resulting in the POC characters being relegated to token roles instead of genuine representation.

In conclusion, it can be affirmed that the film Persuasion (2022) is a product of the culture industry, serving as a reflection of the societal context in which it was produced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. , p. 46
Keywords [en]
the culture industry, mass culture, popular culture, adaptation, tokenism, cancel culture, persuasion, Jane Austen, semiotics, colorblind casting, color aware, globalization, mediatization
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-42610OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-42610DiVA, id: diva2:1777748
Subject / course
Media and communication studies; Media and communication studies
Educational program
Study Programme in Media and communication; Study Programme in Media and communication
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2023-07-03 Created: 2023-06-29 Last updated: 2023-07-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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