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TV-Hero(in)es of Boys and Girls

Reception Studies of Favorite Characters

Maya Götz

Out of all the media that today’s children encounter, what makes a particular TV character a child’s favorite? Based on 80 case studies, in-depth fan studies and standardized surveys with over 5,000 children between the ages six and twelve in Germany, this book elucidates how girls and boys use TV characters in their everyday lives and their identity work.
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“Everyone Can Find His or Her Place in Life“


“Everyone Can Find His or Her Place in Life”

The Fascination With Avatar: The Last Airbender1

Water, Earth, Fire, Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed him most, he vanished. A hundred years passed and my brother and I discovered the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang. And although his airbending skills are great, he still has a lot to learn before he‘s ready to save anyone. But I believe Aang can save the world.

(Text of the opening of Avatar. The Last Airbender)

Ambiguously constructed characters and a combination of characters representing a range of possible experience.

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