The Brazilian Telenovela “El Clon”: An Analysis of Viewer’s
Online Vicarious and Virtual Learning Experiences
Dr. William J. Leary
Dissertation Committee Chairperson
This research involves investigating Brazilian telenovelas as
a medium to disseminate knowledge about different cultures and customs.
Through a qualitative content analysis this study examines messages
posted in the “El Clon” telenovela-world forum with
reference to the Muslim cultural theme explored by the telenovela.
The theoretical framework overarching this study is the combination
of Bandura’s social learning/cognitive theory and Freire’s
dialogical/participatory communication. In order to operationalize
the study, a qualitative content analysis is undertaken utilizing
the sub-dimension parasocial interaction model proposed by Sood
& Rodgers (2000). The messages are analyzed in order to explore
how forum participants engage in the discussion brought by the telenovela,
in light of the proposed parasocial sub-dimensions: affective, cognitive,
and behavioral interactions, and critical and referential involvement.
The different opinions voiced and exchanged in the forum verify
that the message writers think about the educational content of
the novela, in the case of this study the portrayal of the Muslim
culture, and the repercussion of this portrayal not only among the
Muslim community but also the non-Muslim.