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In a response to the previous analyzed message another poster writes:

some more misconceptions to clear up
omg dont get me started! i hate how they twist things around in this novela lool. ok first of all no arab man calls a woman a hen. goodness! no guy would be that stupid in real life.

yeah the love between latiffa and mohammad is really sweet, but believe me the misconceptions u see about muslims and how the men aren't good to the women and there is no love and stuff isnt true. i know that we always see stuff on the news about how arab men beat their wives, but its condemned in islam as something terrible. there are many men who are mean to their wives and many coulples who have bad relationships reguardless of culture or religion. just wanted to clear some stuff up, sorry for going on and on lol.

In this message the poster expresses affective interaction with the theme presented by the telenovela. Even though it is in a negative expression “I hate” it nevertheless provokes a reaction in the writer in an affective level. This writer also critically processes the telenovela scene. The poster disagrees with the choice of the term used by the telenovela’s writer to convey the miscommunication. “ok first of all no arab man calls a woman a hen. goodness! no guy would be that stupid in real life.” The writer then jumps from the scene of linguistic miscommunication, to the stereotypes that exist in real life regarding Muslim man: “but believe me the misconceptions u see about muslims and how the men aren't good to the women and there is no love and stuff isnt true.” This poster wants to counteract some preconceived notions of the man-woman relationship in the Arab/Muslim world. The message writer also clarifies that beatings are condemned by Islam and explains that bad relationships are not privilege of one culture, but it happens “regardless of culture or religion”.

In this exchange it is also possible to identify the interpersonal communication that is brought by the discussion of the telenovela scene. In a dialogical communication way, the discussion of the telenovela’s scene “raised consciousness” about problems of stereotyping, confronting preconceived notions of relationships in the Muslim world, and power structure between man and woman regardless of culture or religion. This interpersonal communication among the forum participants about the issues raised by the telenovela scene is also a demonstration of parasocial behavioral interaction, with the audience talking among themselves about the character, and in this case, also the issue that the character represented. These conversations among audience members can create a social learning environment (Papa et. al. 2000). In reflecting and talking about the educational content of the telenovela, these messages are also expressing cognitive parasocial interaction. The many layers of the parasocial interaction construct can therefore be identified.

The continuation of this thread presents more messages that express affective interaction with the same theme. As an example the next message shows that the poster feels for Latiffa, who is afraid her husband Mohamed will get a second wife. This writer also talks about the portrayal of the other Muslim characters in the novela:

Re: some more misconceptions to clear up
Tio Ali, who must have a doctorate in philosophy, presents the rational view and bends over backward to tolerate and support his family within religious teachings. He is admirable and presents many other aspects as well in a logical light. Even Abu appears to me not to be a fanatic within his own environment, just very literal and strict. However, the woman in a prison everywhere she looks aspect and more than one wife seem to me to be very offensive. No amount of gold or protection can make up for individual freedom and living in a state of fear. Poor prima who is in constant fear that her husband will take another wife. Overall, I think the novela presents the characters in a friendly yet realistic light. What I particularly like with the Moroccan characters is the sense of playfulness, innocence, and comedy. By contrast, the Brazilian characters, Yvetee excepted, tend to be on the dramatic side.

This writer expresses affective interaction when conveying: “Poor prima who is in constant fear that her husband will take another wife.” Here the poster feels for Latiffa’s struggle to contend with the possibility of a second wife in her marriage. The poster also articulates the representation of Tio Ali as an understanding figure, in contrast with Tio Abdu, that even though seems to be more strict does not reach the point to be considered a fanatic. The message expresses cognitive interaction when the poster talks about the characters and their representations. The poster also touches on the telenovela’s author strategy of representing two opposite spectrums Tio Ali, the one that is responsible throughout the novela to teach, interpret, and recite the Koran and Tio Abdul, the one that has a more strict interpretation of Islam, without transforming the characters into a positive/negative polarization. This poster also expresses an understanding of the representation of the characters as friendly and realistic. This insight about the telenovela characters as affable and at the same time real, might be interpreted as a vicarious learning experience, where the modeled behaviors portrayed by Tio Ali and Tio Abdul are used to possibly debunk stereotypical images of religious Muslim men.



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