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Identities on the Move

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Edited By Flocel Sabaté

This book contains selected papers from the meetings «To think the Identity» and «Identities on the move» held in the Institute for Research into Identities and Society (University of Lleida) during 2010. The aim is to understand the reasons that allow social cohesion throughout the creation of identities and its adaptation. Identity is individual and collective, momentary and secular, apparently contradictory terms that can only coexist and fructify if they entail a constant adaptation. Thus, in a changing world, the identities are always on the move and the continuity of society requires a permanent move. Values, Culture, Language and History show the societies in permanent evolution, and demand an interdisciplinary perspective for studying. Attending this scope, outstanding historians, sociologists, linguistics and scientists offer here a diachronic and interdisciplinary approach to this phenomenon: how men and women have been combining the identity and the move in order to feel save into a social life from Middle Ages to current days, and how different items, in our present society, built the framework of identities.
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Talking the talk? Language and Identity in the European Soap Opera: Hugh O’Donnell

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Hugh O’DONNELL

Glasgow Caledonian University

Soap operas – and their close cousin the telenovela – are among the most widely viewed and avidly consumed cultural products in Europe. Though the form itself first emerged in the depression-hit United States of the nineteen-thirties – the world’s first ever soap opera, Painted Dreams, went out on radio there between 1930 and 1941 – following the recent demise of a number of the longest-running American offerings their heartland has now shifted to western Europe where, with relatively few exceptions, they are currently among the highest rating television programmes in virtually every country.1 The world’s currently longest-running television soap is the British production Coronation Street, launched in 1960 and still in production fifty-three years later.2 It regularly leads the ratings in the United Kingdom along with its great rival EastEnders.

Soap operas have from the outset been a genre dominated by talk rather than action. As early as 1948 the American journalist James Thorburn defined them as follows in the New Yorker, highlighting their simultaneously dramatic and commercial function:

A soap opera is a kind of sandwich whose recipe is simple enough although it took years to compound. Between thick slices of advertising spread twelve minutes of ← 433 | 434 → dialogue, add predicament, villainy and female suffering in equal measure, throw in a dash of nobility, sprinkle with tears, season with organ music, cover with a rich announcer sauce and serve five times a week.

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