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Messages commenting about the topic of women’s rights are a strong presence in the forum when scenes of the telenovela allude to this subject. The next example shows the poster’s reaction when the novela shows Jade’s struggle to keep her daughter after her divorce from Said:

im muslim but …
i am really pissed off about the stupid cultural thinkings that always get mixed up with religion. I hate the fact that if a woman divorces, men think they can just take the child from the mother. HORRIBLE. Islam says heaven is under the foot of your mother, three times more than the father! How can a child obtain heaven if he is torn away from his mother's arms. It makes me sick how some people use religion as an excuse when its just the culture that promotes these ridiculous notions to give men power. this happens alot in islamic countries unfortunately. let me tell you as a muslim woman i know my rights, and hell if my husband whenever i get married that is, if we divorce ill be damned if anyone takes my child, i will shoot the bastard and his entire family, sorry about my language haha. i know its difficult though in countries where men seem to rule all of society. it just enrages me though. poor jade she really doesnt have any choice it seems but to win back said so she can stay with her child. but man if i were jade, id have ran away with lucas when i had the chance, religion be damned! love is the true religion and God understands that. why cry your whole life with someone you don;t love. true said was great to jade and she didn't try to get over lucas when the relationship ended and he also married, but still arranged marriages suck!
i'd never have one! but culture always seems to play a key factor in many people's lives. im just so glad that i had the blessing to be born in america and have very liberal muslim parents, or i'd have been in the hugest depression ever if i had to live like that. sorry i had to vent this way!

Besos, N (name)

And the responses that his message received were:

Re: im muslim but …

te apollo N

Re: im muslim but …
Go N you rule girl. Now I really sympathize with Jade a child's place is with his or her mother.

Agree with you, N. Ok to vent
here in the forum. We are with you.

In this example, the poster expresses affective interaction with comments of strong feelings aroused by the telenovela’s representation of a women’s right or lack thereof to keep the child after the divorce. The message writer places herself in the character’s shoes and articulates what would be her reactions to the same situation “but man if i were jade, id have ran away with lucas when i had the chance, religion be damned!” The poster explores her own feelings regarding the women’s situation not only represented in the novela, but also making the bridge to the outside world: “It makes me sick how some people use religion as an excuse when its just the culture that promotes these ridiculous notions to give men power. this happens alot in islamic countries unfortunately.” The message writer also refers back to her own condition as a Muslim woman when expressing her views and feelings, which reveals the sub-dimension referential parasocial interaction.

In this forum’s dialogue, the first posted message initiates a discussion about women’s rights. Her statements are strong affirmations of empowerment and self-efficacy. “let me tell you as a muslim woman i know my rights, and hell if my husband whenever i get married that is, if we divorce ill be damned if anyone takes my child, i will shoot the bastard and his entire family.” For a moment, the writer feels that she knows her rights as a woman and as a Muslim, and that this knowledge somehow would give her the strength to fight against established rules. She believes she is able to change the established power structure. However, on the same breath reality hits, it is as though the writer sees the real world context, and acknowledges the difficulties that women experience in countries where men have all the power to rule society. The poster then recognizes that the character, Jade, does not have any choice but to go back with her husband in order to have her daughter back.

In the above example, the messages that follow encourage the poster, her ideas, and her clamor for justice, agreeing with it in the form of cheering posts: “you rule”, “te apollo”. This interaction while intentionally directed to the poster might also be interpreted as an agreement with the feelings of outrage when dealing with the power struggle to assert woman’s rights. The social learning environment here is demonstrated when the interpersonal communications exhibited reflect the discussion of the theme but also the feedback of encouragement from the other posters (Papa et. al., 1995). This can also be seen as an expression of “conscientization”, or the process of raising consciousness, as Freire (1998) posited: “… the individual can gradually perceive personal and social reality as well as the contradictions in it, become conscious of his or her own perception of that reality, and deal critically with it ( p.14)”.


 



 



Table of Contents

Acknowledgements / Dedication - Abstract

CHAPETER 1- INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER II - REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

CHAPTER III - THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

CHAPTER IV - THE STUDY

CHAPTER V - THE RESULTS
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