The Cosmopolitan Amateur : Understanding the World through TV Series and Movies
We present the narratives of French young cosmopolitan amateurs (N=80, 18-29 y.o.), who use foreign TV series and movies to hone their relationship to the world, acquiring cognitive and emotional skills, albeit not always coherently, in an iterative and reversible fashion. We shall focus our attention on how these various forms of reception help young people to decipher the world, to orient themselves in a global world seen as a cultural mosaic, to reconsider their local/national belongings. We highlight three mechanisms: feeling, reasoning and negociating the world, which derives from the process of mise en genre that entails the categorization of cultural products according to their national origins and their attributed aesthetic characteristics, a process that sometimes operates based on clichés and stereotypes. Cosmopolitan amateurs do not boil down to a coherent structure, but rather compose, with bits of knowledge, a kind of textual ‘poaching’ (De Certeau, 1990, Jenkins, 2002) that challenges linear, cumulative and organized patterns of learning and understanding.