The next Globo production is a telenovela named “America”.
It tells the story of a Brazilian cowboy that comes to the US and
triumphs in the rodeo competitions. The main argument is based on
a true story and Gloria Perez is once more at the helm, responsible
to translate reality into fantasy. This theme presents a different
segment of Brazilian society to Brazilians and to the world. An
ethnographic study with actual immigrants in the United States and
their response to the writer’s exploration of the theme will
further elucidate the main questioning of this research. This will
also allow for further Internet study. There have been studies pointing
to the possibility of conducting ethnographic studies using online
communities. Future research might want to explore the different
web sites dedicated to the telenovela. Another avenue would be to
explore different reactions from the American audience.
The theme of immigration is a controversial one and this telenovela
will certainly delve into the legal aspect of foreigners living
in this country. The United States is a country of immigrants. There
is however a need to further understand the struggles and sacrifices
that the immigrant goes through when choosing to live in a different
There are some movies about this issue such as “El Norte”,
“Mi Familia”, “La Ciudad”, however, the
inclusion of this theme in mainstream television programs have yet
to be explored with the intension to shed some light into this subject.
In Brazil, also a land of immigrants, telenovelas have been used
to address this subject. “Terra Nostra” (Our land) and
“Esperança” (Hope) tells the story of Italian
immigrants to Brazil in the 1900’s. The same author, Benedito
Rui Barbosa also told the story of Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish
immigrants to Brazil in “Os Imigrantes” (Immigrants).
Currently, Telemundo is airing “Anita Non Te Rajes”,
which shows the protagonist having legal problems with Immigration
and being deported to México. However, in a true melodramatic
tradition, her American father recognizes her paternity and she
is able to come back. The educative possibilities of telenovelas
should not be constrained to homes, but schools should be able to
utilize this medium to teach about immigration, race relations,
prejudice, and other subjects explored by telenovelas.
One of the problems encountered in the execution and planning of
this study is the lack of financial assistance and time constraints.
A well-financed study can devote more time and resources to undertake
a comparative research between audiences from different parts of
the world. Future research may also include mixed methodology with
the inclusion of surveys and quantitative analysis. It is important
to have a deeper understanding of the different audience responses
not only to make the product more marketable in the international
arena but also to deliver messages more efficiently.
This research makes an important contribution to the Latin American
telenovela audience research through the exploration of a new territory,
which is only possible through the medium chosen for the study.
The Internet has made it possible to shrink the geographical borders
and facilitate the formation of this global community. This new
technology brings about new forms of communication that allow the
participants to express their concerns in a free forum. In expressing
their vision for the future of entertainment-education, Singhal
& Rogers (2002) express that it should include not only themes
such as peace, conflict mediation, and race relations, but also
the utilization of different media, such as the Internet. There
are many other possibilities for the use of the Internet. Development
communication initiatives by governmental and non-governmental organizations
might want to consider the utilization of message boards to further
receive and give feed back regarding their projects. Utilizing the
message boards to be aware of the concerns of the population, their
views and struggles might help counteract the criticism that entertainment-education
initiatives are vertical programs that do not involve the population
in their decision making process.
The Internet can also serve as a vehicle to share knowledge. In
a Freirian perspective, this knowledge should be an exchange, an
act of dialogue that the Internet can very well perform. It might
be said that the Internet is a medium restricted to the upper classes,
requiring computer literacy and online access, which is certainly
something to be considered. Taking this into account, organizations
should plan for the facilitation of Internet access to the population.
Computers and Internet access should be available to community organizations,
schools, churches and other segments of society involved in developmental
projects. The use of the Internet will also allow for follow up
and monitoring of the projects in a long-term basis.