I've been pretty occupied in conferences this past month. First, I attended IAMCR in Stockholm where I presented three papers: 1, 2, 3. And last week I presented one paper at AEJMC (Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication) in Chicago.
My paper at the Cultural and Critical Studies Division focused on the inclusion of socio-cultural issues in telenovelas. I used one of my case studies: telenovela Cosita Rica and centered on four of the diverse socio-cultural themes that were present in this telenovela: obsession with beauty, machismo, teen pregnancy and children who live in the streets. (Other topics present in Cosita Rica's storylines were: religion and faith, addictions, unemployment, crime, Venezuela's socio-economic contrasts and Venezuelans' survival strategies).
In this paper, I placed the production, representation, reception and regulation of these four topics vis a vis the Venezuelan context. As an example, here are the slides for the issue of teen pregnancy:
Knowing the author's intention and his use of specific strategies, such as the inclusion of humor, to incite reflection, I analyzed how the audience enjoyed the storylines, but often did not read the message the author intended. In the case of the obsession with beauty and machismo, these are now naturalized as "normal" commonsensical ideas. In the presentation I also highlighted how this case study illustrates the articulations between production, representation, consumption, regulation and identity, suggesting the workings and nature of the links between media, culture and society.
With this conference presentation, the conference "season" comes to an end, and the beginning of the new academic year is just around the corner.