Elgar Law, Technology and Society series
Edited by Sean A. Pager and Adam Candeub
Chapter 16: Cross-Country Comparison of Audience Tastes in Hollywood Movies: Cultural Distance and Genre Preferences
W. Wayne Fu 16.1 INTRODUCTION Audio-visual products are a cultural good, and the international marketing and consumption of the products are not only an economic activity or trade transaction but also a process of cultural exchange and absorption. The value and meaning of audio-visual content to local audiences is culturally mediated when the products traverse national borders. How audiences in different countries or cultures receive and select globalized media products is a vital question, because foreign media content, especially those audio-visual products serving entertainment purposes, has occupied an integral part of the daily life of people around the world. Scholars from various schools of thought have contemplated this issue. Advocates of the audience reception study propound that audiences make sense of foreign programs in ways idiosyncratic to local cultures or contexts rather than simply devouring the content’s original meanings wholesale. Such commentators argue that audiences of foreign programs construct peculiar impressions and evaluations with regard to globally shared media products through selective consumption and active negotiation.1 An upshot of the acculturation effect is that distinct populations would react to the same audio-visual products in heterogeneous manners contingent on their cultural eccentricities, including social values, taste preferences, and aesthetic judgments. Marketing research recognizes the cultural specificity of product con- See Francis L.F. Lee, Cultural Discount and Cross-Culture Predictability: Examining the Box Office Performance of American Movies in Hong Kong, 19 J. Media Econ. 259 (2006), for a review of the literature. 370 1 PAGER 9780857931337 PRINT.indd 370 11/06/2012 14:09 Cross-country...
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