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'It has to mean something...' : Reading the success of the Italian soap opera Vivere

[journal article]

Giomi, Elisa

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Abstract This article attempts to provide an answer to this question and reveal the reasons for the success of Vivere(Living), one of the first soap operas to be set and produced entirely in Italy over the last few years. Both text analysis and audience reception analysis are used to prove a specific hypothesis: that its popularity - which is comparable to no other Italian soap - comes from its ability to allow viewers to identify with its characters without forsaking the typical ingredients of a Hollywood series, central to the TV habits of the Italian audience. Here, soap operas - the ultimate popular narrative - are considered in their twin roles of 'anthropological repertory' and breeding ground for an active production of cultural meanings. The article relates the success of Vivereto the social assets of the country which produces and consumes it, while discussing the social uses of a home-grown soap opera through which the community portrays itself.
Classification Cultural Sociology, Sociology of Art, Sociology of Literature; Broadcasting, Telecommunication
Free Keywords audiences; cultural identity; Italy; reception; soap operas; social uses; Vivere;
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 465-482
Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies, 8 (2005) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)