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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mirror? Window....Wall?

So for some reason perhaps because I was contemplating my essay topic I was thinking about the connection between telenovelas and culture and the debate about the connection between the two. I know that Dr. A mentioned earlier in the semester that there was a bit of a debate about what was more accurate and about how there are many views of the issue, but I personal believe that telenovelas and media in general are really all three. For instance we know that there are some telenovelas set centuries ago that are obviously incredibly based in faction, where as there are some with real messages to society for example Cosita Rica or La Mujer Perfecta that present the morals but are still a bit of an exaggeration of the real world. Then there are those such as brazilian telenovelas that are all about realism. All three connections exist in telenovelas as well as media in the U.S. I think to really understand anything about culture you need all three connections. The complete fiction gives the viewer insight into the fantasies a culture shares and the dream about what they wish their life was like, where as the realism present, within a limited scope of course, the truth about society what citizens deal with each and every day and the mirror telenovelas are something of the happy medium between the two, they exaggerate every problem from autism to censorship to make them known but nonetheless feed the desire for fantasy and utopian society. In order to truly assess culture you must look at the whole of the telenovelas not merely the episodes alone but also how they connect to the audience, how the audience perceives interprets and responds to each and every episode, after all not every viewer is going to to receive the same message. I personally am not in any way involved in media and took this course for the cultural aspect. Though many questioned how I would learn anything about culture through a class about television shows based entirely in fiction I personally feel that I've gained a deeper insight in Latin American culture than even I expected. I know much more now about the values, goals, and morals in these culture than I ever expected to be able to learn without actually immersing myself in the culture directly. I've taken so much from this class that I truly feel will help me in the future and help me progress with m career and ultimately the life I intend to lead after school.
Thank you so much Dr. A!

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