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Soap Operas With a Social Message - Essay Example

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This essay discusses that Sarika Bansal the author of “Soap Operas With a Social Message” wanted to entice her readers to look at television instead as one of the great equalizers that has the ability to educate both the rich and poor, young and old in ways and means never dreamed possible before. …
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Soap Operas With a Social Message
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The researcher admits that Sarika Bansal the author of “Soap Operas With a Social Message” never once admitted to having viewed any of the soap operas mentioned in her opinion article and therefore could not credibly be seen as a person who has a personal take on the written article. Instead, she uses various facets of her research in order to persuade her readers to believe in the rhetorical situation that she is trying to sell in the article. The situation that television, when used properly, can become an educator in the box that everyone seems to like listening to. Ms. Bansal, who is a graduate student at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs tends to be familiar with the topic of socially conscious soap operas. She took great pains to get information and points of view from the people in the industry who advocate the socially conscious soap opera genre. Her explanation about how the messages delivered by the story lines reveal that she speaks from experience and has seen enough in her real life to know that the technique works. The socially conscious actually does get their message across and the viewers not only listen, but also apply it to their daily lives whenever possible. A fact which came to light back in 1969 when the Peruvian soap opera “Simplemente Maria” shot to fame and caused an increase in the enrollment of literacy classes and sales of sewing machines which signified the success in life of the title character in the soap.


Arvind Singhal who is a professor of communications at the University of Texas explains that the show affected the people of Peru in such a way that “Enrollment in literacy classes shot through the roof soon after the show aired, as did sales of Singer sewing machines.” (qtd. in Bansal). The logos of Ms. Bansal's arguments are all based upon authoritative pronouncements of various leading names in the soap opera industry. Delving first into the history of the educational soap opera with Simplemente Maria, she then shows the readers the progression of these kinds of soap opera's the world over. She even goes into some detail about how these types of projects are funded and what the limitations placed upon them are due to funding intricacies. Her use of logos can be considered to be quite successful since it clearly shows the way that television shows, when done properly, manages to influence the daily lives and way of thinking of people around the globe through the television shows being aired. Unlike reality shows that seem to exist solely for the promotion of discord in our society, the educational soaps choose to promote positive role models through their stories while showing people the effects of negative attitudes before the viewers even consider trying it. We all have deeply ingrained moral and social values based upon each culture's social norms and traditions. As such, we oftentimes expect to see the same reflected in the television programs that air for our entertainment. It is because of this seemingly seamless connection between our cultural norms that television is able to influence our way of life, code of conduct, and moral values. It is this connection that manages to speak volumes to the viewers of educational soap operas and that is the connection that Ms. Bansal bases most of her logical argumentation upon. It is only logical that a person be influenced by what he sees as a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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