“El Clon” Methodology
This research stems from an axiological philosophical approach;
therefore it incorporates the role of values in a study (Creswell,
The overall purpose of this study is to investigate how Brazilian
telenovelas may be used as a medium to disseminate knowledge about
different cultures and customs. In particular, this study proposes
to examine how participants in the “El Clon” forum for
the telenovela in the website http://foro-telenovela-world.com engage
in the discussion of the Muslim culture themes brought by this telenovela.
This research comes from the perspective that media is a valuable
tool to raise awareness and knowledge about a given problem, combined
with Rogers’ (1998) conclusion that the media is able to expose
a large amount of people to a subject and generate conversation
among audiences and others who otherwise would not been exposed
to the specific message. Nevertheless, as presented before, the
media by itself rarely affect individual behavior change (Papa et.
al., 2000); therefore interpersonal communication needs to be taken
into account as it is argued that it indeed is vital to initiate
behavior change (Rogers, 1988). As Papa et. al. (2000) concluded:
“Conversations about the educational content of a media program
can create a socially constructed learning environment in which
people evaluate previously held ideas, consider options and identify
steps to initiate social change” (p. 50).
Therefore the theoretical framework for this study combines the
social learning/cognitive theory notion of vicarious learning and
self-reflective capabilities, and Freire’s theory of dialogue
and critical thinking. To evaluate the messages in the light of
the proposed framework, the concept of parasocial interaction is
introduced in order to analyze the messages and to make the link
between the message’s posted by the forum participants and
the telenovela cultural theme.