Guilty pleasures: Class, gender, culture and life as they are connected to <i>telenovelas</i>
The purpose of this research is to examine the way Latinas read telenovelas. Since each viewer brings her own “identity” to the reading, each one may come away with different ideas about the themes and characters they see. In her book, Loving with a vengeance (1982), Tania Modleski situates soap operas and their study squarely within the context of feminist theory. She argues that soap operas position their female “readers” quite differently than more male-oriented texts and make possible quite different pleasures and meanings. The literature acknowledges that soap operas were initially created for female viewers, specifically housewives “because soap operas spoke to their particular ‘feminine’ needs” (Allen, 1995, p. 6). But times have changed and telenovelas have surpassed the traditional American soap operas in the ratings. This is primarily due to the changing role of women; many no longer stay at home to watch the daytime soaps (Allen, p. 14). Since telenovelas are shown during prime time, they have surpassed the daytime soaps in viewers and address not only women's issues but social issues as well and help to shape their identity. The study focuses on middle class Latinas and their readings of telenovelas to determine if such readings have any significance on the way they identify themselves in terms of religion, gender, ethnicity, and class.
0708: Mass media
0737: Hispanic Americans