The film star — the phenomenon of a parasocial relation

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The parasocial relation is a reality of interaction of the communica- tor, integrated into a complex media structure, and of his fans. The relationship between them are regulated not by a mutuality of rights and obligations. The film star as a communicator addresses a (de facto) anonymous audience. At the same time the former’s message is received, pondered upon and mastered individually which engenders the spectator’s impression of a face-to-face interaction. In the capacity of a film star the given actor comes on as a good virtual acquaintance for a large number of the audience, kindred to them in spirit, bringing out their amicability, a desire to become actually acquainted. In pursuit of commercial goals, the film industry purposefully constructs and utilizes this feature of an actor. Fielding itself on the screen in a specific social role, the film star — thanks to the fans’ parasocial relation to it — promotes for the mass consciousness behavior patterns, norms and values of the given society that are embodied in it. The article adduces sociological evidence for the transplantation — in the transit period of the 1990s — into young Russians’ mass consciousness of values disseminated by Western cinema. The film star also constitutes a factor of the competitiveness of a given cinematography on a given spectator market. In this regard the Russian cinema loses to Hollywood on its home market. As a sociological study has shown (the city of Kirov, 2016), Russian-filmgoer rating of stars is headed by American masters: Johnny Depp with 60% of the spectator «votes»; Leonardo Di Caprio — 58%; Anjelina Joli — 56%. The top three of Russian actors noticeably lag behind: Sergey Bezrukov — 55%, Daniil Kozlovsky — 44%; Konstantin Khabensky — 43%.

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Zhabskiy Mikhail I.

Doctor at Sociology, Leading Researcher, Research Sector, 


FGBOU DPO «Academy of Media Industry»
, Oktyabrskaya St., 105k2, Moscow, 127521

Author for correspondence.
Email: vestnik-vgik@vgik.info

Novoselova Faina V.

Research Fellow at the Research Institute of Film Art (VGIK) in the period of 2012–2018, currently a resident of Iceland


All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography named after S.A. Gerasimova
Russian Federation, Vilgelma Pika, 3, Moscow city, 129226

Email: vestnik-vgik@vgik.info

Tarasov Кirill А.

Doctor of Culturology, Professor at the 


Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation
Russian Federation, Vernadsky Ave. 76, Moscow, 119454

Email: vestnik-vgik@vgik.info

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Copyright (c) 2019 Zhabskiy M.I., Novoselova F.V., Tarasov К.А.

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