Social Differences in Taste: Investigating Romance Reading

Summer 2016

Maleah Fekete : Interdisciplinary (ISF), German

Mentor: Ann Swidler

Formula fiction is a literary structure in which narratives within a genre are predictable, varying only in details, and therefore, rather than reflecting the real world, reflect a reality constructed by the formula itself. This allows works within a formula to appeal to readers' emotional, as opposed to aesthetic, tastes.  I am investigating the relationship between groups of individuals who read certain types of formula fiction (primarily romance), the emotional fulfillment specific formulas provide, and the social structures producing a deficiency  of emotional fulfillment that causes readers to seek out those formulas. 

To the Wishek Foundation, I am profoundly indebted to your generosity and want to thank you for affording me such an incredible opportunity. Having the chance to fully immerse myself in my thoughts - and with the support and structure of the SURF program - is a priceless introduction to the line of work I hope to pursue as career academic. Your funding is allowing me to do one of the things I love most (thinking!) while supporting myself doing it.