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Soap Operas and Telenovelas in the Digital Age

Global Industries and New Audiences


Diana Rios and Mari Castañeda

Soap operas and telenovelas are watched by millions of people around the world every day. As cultural, social, and economic phenomena, examining them will further our understanding of the role of global media content in the digital age. Moreover, as these programs continue to be exported and transformed at regional levels, and through digitalization, it is more important than ever to analyze where the genre has been, where it is now, and where it is going.
This collection brings together original scholarship from an international and trans-disciplinary perspective. Chapters address timely issues, theories, and debates that are inextricably linked to soap operas and telenovelas as global industries, as sites for new audiences, and as hybrid cultural products within the digital landscape. Bringing depth and originality to the subject area, each chapter demonstrates the richness of these genres and their long-term significance as the televisual landscape evolves and becomes increasingly reliant on technological and creative innovations.
Contents: Diana I. Rios/Mari Castañeda: Introduction – Mari Castañeda: The Transcultural Political Economy of Telenovelas and Soap Operas in the Digital Age – Jaime S. Gómez: Telenovelas from the Rio Grande to the Andes: The Construction of Latin American and Latina Identities through Media Production Creative Processes – Sung-Yeon Park/Gi Woong Yun/Soo Young Lee: Emergence of Asian Dramas as a Global Melodramatic Genre: The Case of Korean Television Dramas – Tamar Ginossar: Media Globalization and «The Secondary Flow»: Telenovelas in Israel – Cacilda M. Rêgo: From Humble Beginnings to International Prominence: The History and Development of Brazilian Telenovelas – Melixa Abad-Izquierdo: The Cultural and Political Economy of the Mexican Telenovela, 1950-1970 – Daniela Cardini: Looking for ‘A Place in the Sun’?: The Italian Way to Soap Opera – George Ngugi King’ara: Kenyan Soap Operas as Functional Entertainment: Redefining the Role of Television Melodrama for an Active Audience – Petra Guerra/Diana I. Rios/Robert Forbus: Fuego en la Sangre Fires Risky Behaviors: A Critique of a Top-Rated Telenovela and its Sexual Content – Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste: Gender, Drugs, and The Global Telenovela: Pimping Sin Tetas No Hay Paraíso – Catherine K. Medina: The Third Subplot: Soap Operas and Sexual Health Content for African American and Latino Communities – Belkys Torres: Hybridity in Popular Culture: The Influence of Telenovelas on Chicana Literature – Martín Ponti: Globo vs. Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão (SBT): Paradigms of Consumption and Representation on Brazilian Telenovelas – Wazhmah Osman: «Trashy Tastes» and Permeable Borders: Indian Soap Operas on Afghan Television – Courtney Brannon Donoghue: Importing and Translating Betty: Contemporary Telenovela Format Flow within the United States Television Industry – Christa Salamandra: Arab Television Drama Production in the Satellite Era.