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“El Clon” Methodology

This research stems from an axiological philosophical approach; therefore it incorporates the role of values in a study (Creswell, 1998).

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.



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Acknowledgements / Dedication - Abstract





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