Popular Perceptions and Political Economy in the Contrived World of Harry Potter
AbstractEconomic organization of the imaginary worlds depicted in popular literary works may be viewed as a mirror to public opinion on the economic organization of life. If a book becomes a bestseller, it is because the book conveys messages, feelings, and events the readers can relate to. In other words, the book's readers identify with the set of norms and rules that govern the development of the plot and the actions of its heroes. Therefore, a bestseller, as a book that successfully relates to readers of its time, can teach us on the norms and believes of its audience. Following this line of thought, we use the method of deconstruction to analyze the highly successful J.K. Rowlings' Harry Potter series. Studying the books within their social context allows us to learn about people's norms and their perceptions of issues, such as the role of government, the structure of financial markets, poverty and inequality, etc. Thus, by looking at the Potterian economy through magnifying glasses, we obtain a perspective on what people might view as an ideal economic structure. Some aspects of this ideal world, we find, are quite different from the real world.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 0528.
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Avichai Snir & Daniel Levy, 2005. "Popular Perceptions and Political Economy in the Contrived World of Harry Potter," Working Papers 2005-05, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
- Avichai Snir & Daniel Levy, 2005. "Popular Perceptions and Political Economy in the Contrived World of Harry Potter," Others 0509012, EconWPA, revised 04 Jan 2006.
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
- P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
- Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
- Z - Other Special Topics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-01-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-CUL-2006-01-24 (Cultural Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2006-01-24 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2006-01-24 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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