Jarvis, Christine and Burr, Vivien (2011) The transformative potential of popular television: the case of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Journal of Transformative Education, 9 (3). pp. 165-182. ISSN 1541-3446

This paper reports findings from an empirical study examining viewers’ responses to a popular and critically acclaimed television program, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Viewers’ frames of reference were challenged when they identified strongly with characters facing complex moral dilemmas, who behaved in ways that contravened viewers’ espoused values. This sometimes led viewers to develop more inclusive, less judgmental moral frameworks. Viewers also used the program to help them imagine how to cope in difficult circumstances and found that the metaphorical and fantasy elements of the program helped them recognize previously unacknowledged aspects of themselves.

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