Why (and how) do we identify with characters?
October 8, 2008 7:49 AM Subscribe
I'm looking for theoretical / psychological explanations of how and why people identify themselves with characters in books or with pop cultural figures.
posted by LucretiusJones to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
One of my students last year regularly wore an "I am Hermione" shirt to class. I've met an Elvis impersonator who took the bond to religious levels. I want to understand what makes identification tick in a sounder or more theoretical way than I've found so far. I'm currently going on Hayakawa's model that identification goes according to
1) Recognizing yourself in a depiction
2) Having a character that fulfills some wish or fantasy
Can anyone get me more insight from any field? I'm particularly interested in how short-term identification may help make or change long-term identity. Personal anecdotes on works you've identified with strongly are welcome.