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“Formula 1 in a Completely Different Light”: How Do Fans Perceive Authenticity in the Netflix Documentary Series ‘Drive To Survive’?
Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), School of Arts and Communication (K3).
2022 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to find out how fans perceive the authenticity of the Formula 1 documentary series ‘Drive to Survive’. Research has shown that documentaries are challenged from the audience with regard to draw an authentic representation of events while they seek to nevertheless be entertaining to people. Thus, the thesis tries to examine which themes fans focus on when they rate the authenticity of documentary series and how they express authenticity by investigating comments from a fan forum of Autosport.com. 

With regard to the theoretical framework, it seems obvious to illuminate the concept of authenticity. Moreover, it is important to put it in context with documentary theories, fandom concepts and reception theories, since the thesis contains data of fans about the documentary series ‘Drive to Survive’ and focusses on its reception of authenticity, meaning how the fans perceive authenticity. To examine relevant data, Mayring’s (2000) approach of a qualitative content analysis is used. 

The main results of the thesis are the determination of four themes of authenticity of a documentary series, namely cinematographic manipulations, behind the scenes footage, participants and imposed judgements. But even if the same themes are generally addressed from fans, the focus of the fans on the themes of authenticity varies. Another result is that fans do not express authenticity with the same words, but the comments contain of patterns content wise related to the themes. 

As a conclusion with regard to the research focus of fans’ perception of authenticity the thesis shows that it is related to the individual mind. While the reception theory explains that the individual background influences interpretation of content, the concept of fandom illustrates that fans are able to give content an individual meaning which both has effects on their perception of authenticity. Therefore, it remains a challenge for documentary productions to find the balance between entertainment and authenticity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. , p. 54
Keywords [en]
Authenticity, Documentary, Formula 1, Drive to Survive, Fandom, Reception Theory, sports
National Category
Communication Studies Media Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-53572OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-53572DiVA, id: diva2:1676975
Educational program
KS K3 Media and Communication Studies (master)
Examiners
Available from: 2022-06-28 Created: 2022-06-27 Last updated: 2022-06-28Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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