“You are all loved so much”: Exploring relational maintenance within the context of parasocial relationships.

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Abstract

This research explores relational maintenance within the context of parasocial relationships. The New Kids on the Block (NKOTB), one of the most popular musical groups in the late 1980s and early 1990s, abruptly disbanded in 1994. In 2008, after a 14-year hiatus, the band announced their reformation. Members of NKOTB blogged about their reunion on the group’s website (www.nkotb.com), and a thematic analysis was conducted, using both deductive and inductive procedures, of 2,122 postings by audience members to these blog entries. Analysis revealed that audience members utilized, in various ways, both positivity and assurance maintenance strategies (Canary, Stafford, Hause, &Wallace, 1993). The results suggest that audience members enacted relational maintenance to express support for NKOTB and to demonstrate that they had remained committed to their parasocial relationship with NKOTB, despite the group’s absence. These actions positively reinforced NKOTB’s decision to reunite and convey
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-83
JournalJournal of Media Psychology: Theories, Methods, and Applications
StatePublished - 2009

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