‘Difference Is the One Thing That We Have in Common’. A Photovoice Exploration of Fans Articulating Fair Representation in Netflix’s ‘Sense8’.

Chiara Modugno, AFM (Tonny) Krijnen

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Abstract

Television production is championing diversity in representation with record
numbers compared to previous years. Netflix’s Sense8 is definitely amongst the highest scoring shows as concerns intersectional representation. Such remarkable representation was worth the 2016 GLAAD Outstanding Drama Series award, a prize granted to the most diverse television shows. However, this applause is geared solely to numerical representations while current academic discussion focuses more on the concept of fair representations. Not only is being represented of importance, but how one is represented. The present paper employs photovoice and photo elicitation to investigate how Sense8 fans articulate what constitutes a fair representation of queer gender identities within the show. The present research addresses two gaps in the literature. First, a methodological one: the employment of creative visual methodologies to transcend the limitations of the most common methods used for audience research —interviews and focus groups. Secondly, this study follows the contemporary conversation around fair representation by addressing what is now a gap in the existing literature on queer television: what is fair representation from an audience perspective? The results of this study show how audiences’ perspectives on fair representation differ from those formulated in public and academic debates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-56
Number of pages20
JournalTripodos
Volume50
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2021

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