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Type: Journal article
Title: Vagueness, familiarity and social realism: making meaning of radio soap opera in south-east Afghanistan
Author: Skuse, A.
Citation: Media Culture & Society, 2002; 24(3):409-427
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0163-4437
Abstract: This article explores some of the semantic linkages that exist between the producers and consumers of a BBC World Service radio soap opera, produced for Afghanistan. Few ethnographic studies of mass media have tackled both production and consumption; the dominant preference within this emerging sub-discipline favours audience studies and makes unsubstantiated inferences concerning production regimes. This article takes analysis a crucial step forward to examine how the dramatic context of radio soap opera is defined and represented by producers, and appropriated and manipulated by listeners. Via discussion of the opposed categories of vagueness and familiarity, the social realist pretensions of the production - addressed through the criteria of place, voice, sound and language - are assessed against a range of audience readings of this representation of reality. The article concludes by stating that whilst social realism is aspired to and actively pursued by the soap opera's writers and producers, it is only invested with meanings that are specific and socially located, upon contact with the audience.
Description: © 2002 SAGE Publications
RMID: 0020021012
DOI: 10.1177/016344370202400307
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Appears in Collections:Anthropology & Development Studies publications

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