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Research question # 2

How did forum participants verbalize cognitive interaction in relation to the Muslim cultural issues portrayed in the brazilian telenovela “El Clon”?

The analysis and categorization of the messages according to the parasocial sub-dimension cognitive interaction, is based on the messages expressions of reflection about a character’s behavior, or considerations about the educational content of the novela, more specifically, when reflecting about “El Clon” portrayal of the Muslim culture.

By definition and due to the method of selecting the messages, practically all of the messages can be categorized in this sub-dimension. To select the sample that is utilized in this research, the search is conducted with the word Muslim in the subject of the messages. However, as previously emphasized, the messages reflect a layer of sub-dimensions that are interconnected and interrelated. This means that other sub-dimensions are also expressed in the posts. The messages are then categorized according to their strongest expression of a given category. In the 310 messages analyzed, 51% (160) are categorized as cognitive interaction. It makes sense, since in one way or another in the sample the posters are talking about Muslim culture and characters. However, the intricacies of the messages and the expressions of the sub-dimensions can only be appreciated through a qualitative analysis of their content.

The participants that are knowledgeable about Muslim culture enrich the discussion of the cultural issues presented by the telenovela. Some of them are born into the religion some are converts. In many instances the forum participants recognize their valuable contribution to the discussion.
“El Clon” has Morocco and Brazil as the background for the telenovela. In the following posts we can see some of the reactions and thoughts of the Moroccan board participants towards the portrayal of their country in the telenovela and the response by other Muslims and non-Muslims participants. For this example, most of the posts in the thread are presented here in an attempt to follow the dialogue without interrupting the flow of thought or the discussion. As previously discussed, these messages also show the intricacies of the sub-dimensions of parasocial interaction. The examples shown are messages that might have been classified as having referential or critical involvement as their strongest characteristic for the purposes of this study, however, for the sake of congruency; the researcher is including them in the example bellow in order to not interrupt the discussion. It is also important to recall that all the messages reflect the poster’s cognitive understandings of the portrayal of Morocco and Muslims by the novela. These posts are all part of the thread in response to the previously analyzed message “some more misconceptions to clear up”:

Re: some more misconceptions to clear up

I'm confused.
Are you saying the misconceptions are in real life or in this novela? You said this novela twists everything. It seems to me this novela shows people as people. Some are loving and some are not. There's nothing twisted, biased, mistaken or misconceived about that.

When you consider what's been in the news every day over the past two and a half years, I think that "El Clon" has put Islam and Arabic/Moroccan culture in a better light than any other medium anywhere else. We have learned more about all the positive aspects of these cultures than we possibly could have otherwise. Be happy for that.

Re: some more misconceptions to clear up
T, just because El Clon overall portrays Muslims/Morroccans in a bitter light than any other medium, does not, mean that it is enough. F has the right to expect more, this is 2004 after all.

F, I,.. you are not the only muslin..
on this board.I'm a born Muslim and I don't see anything wrong or twisted in this novela this is A NOVELA.a fiction based on some research by the a very good author..she has taken differnt aspects of Islamic life and added her own imagination and made a novela..a beautiful one at that..
the charaters in this novela are fictional what they say or do are based on the truth but not the whole TRUTH..you can't deny that..
there are some things that ARE exaggerated,but then that is the whole concept of the novela that's why we are enjoying it so much..they are not insulting any Muslim countries,or muslim people & their believes..they are using Islamic costumes and believes and adding teir own imagination .
I haven't been participating in this forum that much..but I can't help but notice that some posters don't like the way they are showing Islam in El Clon.
then why watch something that in your opinion is twisted or offensive?

thanks guys don’t get me wrong…..
i love the novela. and it is true that they portray muslims much better than any other show. i do love that about the novela. i am moroccan and when i watch the show i see alot of things that arent remotely having to do with moroccan culture. i know that it is a fictional story but for alot of people who have never been to morocco or ever been exposed to moroccan culture, this is moroccan culture to them. when i watch a movie or show about a foreign country that i dont know alot about i assume that the country is like its portrayed in the movie. i just thought id tell people how moroccan culture really is. i appreciate all your opinions on what i said. once again i wasnt being offensive or anything, el clone is my favorite show on tv :-)

Re: some more misconceptions to clear up
I'm Moroccan. And i do HATE the way they portray the culture and everything sometimes, but I get over it. The people on this phorum are intelligent, but numerous people have asked me silly questions about Morocco because they believe the novela word for word and then I get pissed, because I feel like they're misinforming. And they are. But whatever, everyone does it anyway. I got over it. And they do show positive stuff too, so.
And they did it all for the sake of the story. Because if they say that Said has to have Khadija, then that's a good storyline. If they portrayed it for real, then there goes the whole Jade/Khadija story. They do that in all movies.

But it's just anoying because people who were feeling animosity towards muslims cuz of 9/11 anyway, got to go around screaming: "muslim women can't take their kids after divorce!"

Re: some more misconceptions to clear up
Funny, I haven't heard anyone going around "screaming" that Muslim women can't take their kids after divorce.

You're making assumptions about other people, I, that may be at the core of your problem with defensiveness and over-sensitivity to the "stupid" questions that people ask in their desire to learn.

In fact, no question is stupid. Questions show that people want to learn. Questions show that people want to clear up their own confusion or misconceptions. Questions show that people are NOT making assumptions or swallowing everything they hear or see.

Think about it.




Table of Contents

Acknowledgements / Dedication - Abstract






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