Taking the soap opera as a case study, this book explores the 'parasocial interaction' people engage in with television programmes. It looks at the nature of the 'active viewer' and the role of the text in social psychology. It also investigates the existing theoretical models offered by social psychology and other discourses. This second edition takes into account recent research work and theoretical developments in fields such as narrative psychology, social representation theory and ethnographic work on audiences, and look forward to the developing role of audience research. It will be an essential study for students and lecturers in social psychology and media studies.