Jimmy Sanderson, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Clemson University, and Elizabeth Emmons, a doctoral student in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama set out to examine forgiveness within Parasocial interaction. Using Hamilton’s situation as an example, the two researchers analyzed 474 fan comments featured on a Texas Ranger forum.
“Josh Hamilton is a perfect example of a transparent, likeable athlete with a lot of support from fans,” Emmons said. “With his well-known struggles with alcohol and other addictions, he has disclosed personal aspects that people can relate to, and thus when he falls short, people have an avenue to respond to him through digital media.”
The findings revealed that Hamilton’s supporters forgave him through offering support, “addiction is hard” narratives, human condition attributions and justification. Another majority claimed they were incapable of forgiving Hamilton due to his apparent character flaws.
Surprisingly a large segment of the forum’s contributors expressed feeling closer to Hamilton because of his endeavors. One fan commented: “You are just like all of us because we all stumble, fail, and have to get back up and recover from our bruises too.”
Posted: March 22, 2013 at 04:23 PM | 45 comment(s)
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