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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 - Television, Producers, Audiences: Reception and Resistance

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Linda Mc Nenly

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The Cool Culture Soul Machine: The Anthropology of Everyday Life Lecture 9 – June 5, 2013 Television, Producers, Audiences: Reception and Resistance Readings for today’s lecture: - "The Objects of Soap Opera: Egyptian Television and the Cultural Politics of Modernity." In Anthropology of Media: A Reader, edited by K. Askew and R. R. Wilk. Malden and Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, pp 376-93. - Dhaenens, Frederik (2012) “Queer cuttings on YouTube: Re-editing soap operas as a form of fan-produced queer resistance.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 15(4): 442-456. - Youtube Videos: Christian & Oliver on ichglotzutube (2007-2010) or Christian & Oliver on youtube (2010 - ) Recall: - We have been looking at the production side of popular culture experience - Now we are going to switch the focus, and look at the audience perspective This module challenges us to think about: 1) Production of ideologies, social norms, and identity (modernity and gender) 2) Audience reception – passive or active? - What do people do with popular culture that they consumer? Are they engaging with popular culture? To what extent do television programs reflect the views of society? How are dominant narratives received, interpreted, and contested? - Example 1: Egyptian television and serials Hilmiyya Nights - Example 2: Forbidden Love soap and youtube webisodes Soap Opera: - Definition is on page 44 of the article we were suppose to read for this week - Right now there are a few soap operas that are still continuing (still on tv) - In North America, they still have wide spread audience, and although it has declined in popularity in North America, they are still extremely popular in other areas Similarities between Soap Operas and Egyptian Serials: - Audience: women, or stay at home parent o These soap operas are geared for the people who are at home, because they play during the day time - Focus on domestic spaces and relationships o Domestic themes: family, love, marriage, betrayal, power of money o Reflect and reproduce social norms - Are historically and culturally situated - Narrative driven: stories about characters or issues; about contemporary life (classes) o The stories are pushed along the characters and issues they encounter in their everyday lives The Cool Culture Soul Machine: The Anthropology of Everyday Life Lecture 9 – June 5, 2013 Difference between Soap Operas and Egyptian Serials: - Narrative progression: not just by stories about characters, but also by moral themes, embossed with historical narratives and Egyptian national and political events o Egyptian series employ loyalty, tragic errors embedded in national and political events What Messages are produced, why? The Production of Ideologies, Social Norms, and Identities EXAMPLE 1: Egyptian Television and Serials - Ethnographic research on how Egyptian women of lower economic classes in Cairo and villagers interpret messages embedded in serials - Television state controlled, used for propaganda and educating the public o “Modern” education of working class (1960s) o Serials reflecting realism rather than idealism (1970-90s) Messages in Hilmiyya Nights - Desire to enlighten and modernize lower classes and rural people, including women - It is state controlled, and upper class professional who are not in touch with the rural communities - Moral messages: ageing, dishorable men, poverty - Political messages: modernity and nationalism o Education Egyptians about what it means to be a modern citizen using discourses of development How are Messages Received by Lower Economic Classes? - Ignored moral lessons, focused on charismatic characters o Even though the serials dealt with a lot of issues the experienced (poverty, dishonest men), they instead of focused on charismatic characters (ie.
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