Soap Operas LM13 1937

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  • 1.  
  • 2.  
  • 3.
    • In late 1930s, consumerist population was on the rise
    • People were able to buy leisure commodities – i.e. radios
  • 4.
    • Women were able to stay at home and became the predominant demographic soap operas catered to
    • Soap opera families were created to reflect this comfortable living class of the suburban housewife
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    • Radio was heavily dependent on the money that its sponsors provided and advertising was its main source of income
    • To attract listeners to bring in money, broadcasters turned to programming
    • Serials were a form of story that whose plot continued indefinitely, a daily basis in order to form a loyal audience base
  • 7.
    • Soap manufacturers helped sponsor the first radio serials in exchange for advertising time
    • As the popularity of soap operas grew, soap companies began buying whole shows to increase revenues
  • 8. A Radio Advertisement
  • 9.
    • Soap operas formed from serials as serials became increasingly complex, with multiple and overlapping plot lines
    • When one story line ended, another continued
    • Plot was moved forward primarily through the conversation between characters
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    • Writers maintained the conversational aspect of the radio format and drew in more aesthetic aspects
    • Soap opera began to visually stress the importance on material goods, as part of latent commercial advertising
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  • 13.
    • Introduction of primetime soap operas changed some of their production aspects
    • Networks and the shows’ producers required the flexibility to make soap operas appealing to wider audiences of television viewers
  • 14.
    • Soaps shifted to taped broadcasts from live shoots
    • Taped products were better revenue generators because it allowed for easier distribution to foreign markets as well as reruns in syndication on televisions across the nation
  • 15.  
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    • Originally, soap operas used everyday locations such as a doctor’s office, law firm, or living room
    • In the last few decades, there was an introduction of more interesting and often- exotic locations .
      • 1978 – All my Children, St. Croix
  • 17.
  • 18.
    • In the 1980s, plotlines began to focus on then-appealing motifs like business and romance
    • Paralleled society: tough economic times
    • Romance as escape from business/economic problems
  • 19.
  • 20.
    • 1990s: Focus on Social Issues (Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Physical Illness, Sex and Relationships)
    • Paralleled society: better economic times , issues of the 1980s no longer held sway
    • Focus on the barebones of soap operas
  • 21.
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    • Early Days of Soap Operas: domesticity , motherhood, maintaining the household
    • 1970s and on: Professional Roles for women, mirrored changing role of women in society post WWII
  • 24.
    • Soap operas manage to mirror daily life as well as dramatize it
    • “ [Soap opera] offers itself to its audience as the representation of lives that are separate from but continuous with their own ” (Porter 782)
  • 25.
    • Soap operas break free from banality of everyday lives, yet still remain realistic
    • Viewers can “identify with the anonymity of [these soap opera] location[s] ” (Hobson 32).
  • 26.
    • Soap opera families usually consist of upper middle-class professionals and wealthy business people
    • They are careful in choosing which parts of everyday life they portray
      • The soap opera world lacks politics, war, international relations or economic and commercial influences
  • 27.
    • The prominence of soaps have in culture helped shape their audience’s understanding of culture and reality
    • Though viewers know that soap operas do not always accurately parallel their own lives, the do draw concepts of social norm from them
  • 28.
  • 29.
    • Most audiences understand that the situations and circumstances of their characters, while relatable, are not generally an accurate portrayal of life, but a dramatization. As the next clip aptly demonstrates-
  • 30.
  • 31.
    • In that they are generally watched on a daily basis, soap operas are fixtures in the lives of much of their audiences, and thus, bear a considerable amount of weight in molding their perception of social norm.
    • Soaps are thus both reflectors and creators of culture .
  • 32.  
  • 33.
    • Hobson, Dorothy.  Soap Opera . Cambridge: Polity, 2003. Print.
    • Porter, Dennis. "Soap Time: Thoughts On a Commodity Art Form."  College English  38.8 (1977): 782-88. Print.