Narrative as a Mode of Communication: Comparing TV Format Adaptations with Multimodal and Narratological Approaches

in Multimodality


This chapter illustrates how a multimodal approach can be combined with narratological knowledge to compare the narrative sequencing, structure, and content of culturally different versions of a sketch television comedy series. The series features archetypical interactions and conflicts of a 30-something heterosexual couple. By combining both narratological and multimodal approaches to compile qualitative and quantitative data on durations of scene and shot sequencing, narrative content, and culturally specific multimodal relationships, the chapter compares television format adaptations cross-culturally to distinguish a variety of discursive positionings towards gender roles, masculinity, and family conflict management strategies as a first step in the process of cross-cultural comparisons. These methodological innovations make a substantial contribution to determining the intercultural and cross-cultural dimensions of multimodal analyses and help concretize and more precisely delineate the nature of globalization processes, global discourses, and hybridization. Furthermore, it is suggested that combining computer software-driven multimodal analyses with narratological approaches offers a more precise and objective foundation for cross-cultural comparative analyses of increasingly prevalent localizations of television formats.

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