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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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5

Studying Addiction

My Journey Through the Landscape of Telenovela Consumption

Carolina Acosta-Alzuru

ABSTRACT

There are stories that are addictive. In particular, there are some stories, originally scripted in Latin America, that constitute a pandemic transmitted daily via the television screens of more than 130 countries. These serialized dramas are called telenovelas, and the simplicity of their codes belies the complexity of their production and consumption. This chapter focuses on the audience study aspects of my journey through the telenovela landscape. Telenovela consumption loci defy national borders. Such consumption occurs not only via television, but also on the Internet. Hence, in addition to the use of interviews, focus groups, and participant observation in Venezuela, my studies have required my presence in the swampy grounds of Internet message boards dedicated to telenovelas and in social media outlets where my movements are still somewhat tentative. The chapter's tone varies from descriptive to personal as the chapter itself chronicles more than a decade of research attempting to understand telenovelas' addictive soul.

There are stories that are addictive. In particular, there are some, originally from Latin America, that constitute a pandemic transmitted daily via the television screens of more than 130 countries. These serialized dramas are called telenovelas, and the simplicity of their codes belies the complexity of their production and consumption.

The ...

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