Watching soap-opera: a case study of how Ghanaians interpret the bold and the beautiful

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Title: Watching soap-opera: a case study of how Ghanaians interpret the bold and the beautiful
Author: Kubi, Thompson
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Communication
Thesis level: Master's thesis
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate how Ghanaians decode The Bold and the Beautiful. An essentially American cultural product. The study is based on the assumption that when people watch programmes like The Bold and the Beautiful, they enter a cultural terrain where they are apt to make meanings and interpretations of their involvements based as it were on their cultural dispositions. The focus is on the type of response The Bold and the Beautiful evokes in a cross-section of Ghanaian viewers and the repertoire with which they frame their watching experiences. The assumption therefore is that people's television consumption can be made sense of through an empirical study. This study begins with overviews of paradig a shift in audience reception and Katz and Liebes previous study of Dallas with ethnic groups in Israel. The impetus of such reviews for the current study is also discussed. Soap opera, the subject matter is defined alongside a brief description of the study area, the people, and some aspects of their cultural rules. Transformation in the communication infrastructure of Ghana and its impact on Ghanaians is also discussed. The study task involved Ghanaians based in Finland and the main homeland, Ghana. A qualitative instrument of individual in-depth interview was used in the study involving the Ghanaian respondents in Finland. Focus Group Discussions were also held in Accra, Nsawam and Kumasi to assess an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful programme. The data collected from the individual in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, before and after informal discussions as well as observations during the fieldwork are embodied in chapter 5. The findings did answer the main questions of the thesis: How do Ghanaians decode The Bold and the Beautiful? With what repertoire would they frame their involvements and interpretations? And why do they even watch the programme? The study conclusively found that, these Ghanaians appropriated norms and values from their culture to make sense of the programme. They made normative and moral judgemental statements that suggest a stance to defend their group norms and values against the programme. Such display of involvement also suggest that these Ghanaians are not passive or held captive by the programme, rather they enjoy to appropriate themes and issues from the programme as agenda setting for discussions. Such acts that elicit gratifications and release of catharsis can be therapeutically beneficial. Given the potentiality of the Ghanaian critical abilities, skills to enable Ghanaians use such discussions as consciousness raising devices be introduced in school curriculum using programmes like The Bold and the Beautiful as resource material.
Description: Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen ( Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database ( Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta ( Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.
Date: 2004-02-05
Subject: Ghanaians
soap opera
The Bold and the Beautiful

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