What do romance novels, pro-wrestling, and Mack Bolan have in common?  Consilience and the pop culture of storytelling.

Title of Chapter or Poem

What do romance novels, pro-wrestling, and Mack Bolan have in common? Consilience and the pop culture of storytelling.

Files

Department/School

Psychology

Abstract/Excerpt

Abstract

Some of the most popular genres of pop culture involve storytelling, such as romance, pro-wrestling, and action-adventure novels. Even though such genres may be evolutionarily novel, their content is not. Their stories focus on the problems humans have always faced, ones of survival, competition, mating, and social living. Their essential storylines draw in their readers and watchers because they tap into the evolved psychological mechanisms we have for managing these problems in our own lives. A consilient approach to the study of pop culture can explain why certain problems predominate in stories, why they arouse our emotions, and why there are sex differences in the appeal of certain genres. An adaptationist approach can provide a comprehensive interpretation and understanding of these products of our evolved mind.

Document Type

Chapter

Book Title

Darwin’s Bridge: Uniting the Humanities and Sciences

Editors

J.C. Carroll, E.O. Wilson, & D. McAdams

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Place of Publication

New York, NY

Publication Date

2016

ISBN

0190231211

Keywords

adaptation, pop culture

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

What do romance novels, pro-wrestling, and Mack Bolan have in common?  Consilience and the pop culture of storytelling.

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