The aim of the proposed paper is to increase the knowledge on fiction in use. A combination of reader reception studies (cf. Fish, 1980) and discursive psychology (Edwards & Potter, 1992), which I would like to call discursive reception studies (Eriksson & Aronsson, 2009): that is, a discursive-psychological analysis of reader-reception data is used in the paper. Such approach provides possibilities to analyse the role of social interaction in the co-construction of the experience of a film or a play (or the reading of a book). Drawing on detailed analyses of video-recorded pair or group conversations before, during and after the viewing of a stage play or a film, empirically-driven research questions will be addressed: f ex How is fiction used to create ourselves and position each other, to be seen as smart or well-informed, as being part of the cultural elite or as not high-brow? How is talk about fiction used to quarrel, flirt, tie bonds of friendship et cetera? To analyse talk about fiction as interaction makes it possible to understand the potential of action in interpretation of fiction contains, the participants in a conversation around a play or a film do not only report their reading of the piece, they also use their interpretation in social interaction. Hereby, it becomes possible to analyse how readings of fictive stories are created in social interaction and how they are used for different purposes. Hence, the knowledge on fictive characters becomes more dynamic.
Data from conversations after seeing Shakespeare’s play Romeo & Juliette and films as One Day, Jane Eyre, Real Steel and Arrietty the Borrower is analysed in the paper.