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This forum exchange demonstrates the many facets of the poster’s critical involvement with the telenovela. While some of the messages question the exaggeration of the use of belly dancing and recital of the Koran, others believe that this might be a little bit exaggerated but justifiable in the name of the fantasy. The posters also refer to their own experience and knowledge to make their points. “I don't know about the Muslin people, but that was a little too much for me. Pregnant woman don't dance all the time, not even a few time” in this message, the writer relates to what she knows and understands about pregnancy and thinks that the dancing does not correspond to reality, or her understanding of it. The messages also comment on the many maids that helped with the housework, leaving Latiffa free to dance and seduce her husband, which is certainly a reality strange to many. This behavior is justified by some of the messages as a product of her wealth, “Latifah is wealthy so I am not surprise she does nothing at home with some many maids who would?” The message also exhibits referential involvement with this comment; the poster places herself in Latiffa’s position and somehow justifies her behavior.

Divergence is also noticed among the opinions of Muslims regarding the subject. While one post says that in the Muslim household the pregnant women are pampered, she agrees that maybe Latiffa’s dance was a little bit too much. On the other hand, she forgives the poetic freedom of the telenovela’s writer in portraying her culture “and it’s only a novela”. The opposing view of this comment comes from a Muslim who states that too much belly dancing is “haram.” This poster also disagrees with the representation of Tio Ali, who has the responsibility throughout the novela to translate and enlighten the viewers with the recitals of the Koran. Apparently in his household there is too much dancing and partying, which according to the message is also “haram.”

The messages show that the writers are able to be critically involved with the novela, sometimes disagreeing with the telenovela author’s choice of portrayal of the Muslim culture, other times giving her permission to write a melodrama full of fantasies and quasi representations of reality.

Some messages also contest the behavior of the novela’s characters and suggest different narratives for the story, exhibiting the parasocial sub-dimension critical involvement. The following post exemplifies that:

STUPID DECISIONS BY ALL THREE!
Lucas: Lucas was not the alpha male like Diogo was, so it is almost expected for him to mess up 99% of the time. When he dumped Jade the first time it was understandable, but fifty times later? He just made me hate him more and more! Agh, and then he tops it off by marrying Maysa, the damn horse! Lucas should have stuck to his promise! He shouldn't have wasted all that time in his home where he had the perfect opportunity to meet and hide with Jade. They should have had a quikie marriage! Lucas disappoints as a man and that leads me to wonder if that is the same case in bed? Hmmm??

Jade: She should never had left Yvette's house! Imagine all of the tricks she would have learned to get Lucas to stay with her? Ugh, a wasted opportunity! She should have never accepted to have been married and run off the morning of the wedding or locked herself into a room and not come out. Jade should have kept pretending to like Said and then when she got his complete trust,she could have asked for them to visit Mohammed then she could have escaped with Lucas. Since she has a promise with God, she should have just told Lucas the truth!

Said: A great looking man that committed the dumbest thing in his life. Why couldn't he accept Jade not liking him? Jade is pretty, but she isn't that good looking for him to act that way? The dancer was beautiful, why didn't he just go through with the second marriage and Jade could be returned! Said, why don't you just marry me instead! Hehehe!

T ;o)
I smell Telerisa around here!


The dialogue that is formed through the exchange of opinions, knowledge, and values in the forum creates a social learning environment. Some posters refer back to what they know to formulate criticism of the telenovela content. Critical thinking and dialogue are pillars of Freire’s (1970) theory. He believes that the learning process is an equal contribution by teachers and students, both engaged in discovering the world. As Freire (1998) posits, “every human being, no matter how "ignorant" or submerged in the culture of silence he or she may be, is capable of looking critically at the world in a dialogical encounter with others” (p.14).

While Singhal & Rogers (1999) agree that an entertainment-education program is more effective in creating knowledge of an issue than changing the behavior regarding the issue, the addition of the interpersonal communication is essential to generate behavioral change (Rogers, 1976). If behavior change is considered in the form of breaking stereotypes and acquiring knowledge about a different culture, the forum allows the participants to converse with each other and expand their horizons with the many inputs from different perspectives. The messages show that in many occasions the posters seek clarification of the issues that are portrayed by the telenovela, and in many instances the messages articulate how they can learn from both, “El Clon” and its fan forum.

 



 



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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Acknowledgements / Dedication -

Abstract


CHAPETER 1- INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER II - REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

CHAPTER III - THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

CHAPTER IV - THE STUDY

CHAPTER V - THE RESULTS

CHAPTER VI - CONCLUSION

APPENDIX - MESSAGES STUDIED

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