This is a class blog run by Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru and her students in the course "Telenovelas, Culture and Society" at the University of Georgia during Spring 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Telenovelas: A Microcosm of the World They Portray

As we discussed in class, people view media representation in many different ways. For the purpose of this course it was stressed that it should be viewed as a construction. The growing influence and importance of telenovelas has a direct correlation with the evolution of television and the media. Globalization has paved the way for the increased advancement of technology and quickened the spread of information. Latin American telenovelas depict key social, political, and economic issues of countries in the region. They are included in political rhetoric, come up in policy discussions, and encourage discourse between viewers of all ages, socioeconomic status, and gender. I'm really interested in the effect Telenovelas have had at calling national attention to key social issues that are normally swept under the rug and ignored. For example, in Patria Mia, the female protagonsit is a single mother. This telenovela portrayed the hardship of single motherhood and really opened people's eyes to this way of life. Venezuela, a country whose culture breeds a society of men that don't share in the process of parenthood and which is tolerated. Women are looked at as keepers of the home and of children, oftentimes displacing all responsibilities of men. Machismo/Marianismo are very much still applicable to today's societies in the region and will only fade with direct societal attention dedicated to improving the current situation. Throughout this course, I look forward to delving more into this topic and watching efforts to change this aspect of Latin American culture in the years to come.

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