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I am currently working on a project on social issue/awareness soaps in the
third world, more specifically an Indian one called "Humraahi".  One of the
purposes of this soap is to portray certain aspects of traditional indian
society as damaging to women in order to raise awareness about these
problems.  Issues such as arranged marriages, and women's lack of
opportunities to enter the work market simply because they are child
rearing from very early ages, and in some instances (as is the case with
one of the first main characters in the soap) they are too young to give
birth and die.  The methodology behind this soap is based on one developped
by Miguel Sabido, who in the early 80s created similar soaps in Mexico with
a considerable success.  These Mexican soaps were very successful in
teaching about Mexican history, and to promote literacy on the air as well
as other social issues.
 
There is an American organisation called Population Communications
International that has worked extensively to promote these soaps in the
third world.  As a matter of fact this is an organisation which is a
continuation of the Population Institute.  This institute worked
extensively with directors of such popular American shows as All in the
Family and the Mary Tyler Moore show.  Or, as in the words of the current
PCI President, Mr. David Pointdexter points out in an interview: quote
Meathead in All in the Family did not have a vasectomy by chance unquote.
 
I am  looking for information on/from anyone who have been involved in
research concerning such third world soaps, or in general on methodologies
used to promote social issues in soaps or other serials.
 
If you so desire, you can E-mail me directly at:
 
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PS. I am relatively new to this discussion list, so please accept my
apologies if my request seems out of place.
 
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##Bjoern Petter Hernes
Department of Media and Communication
University of Oslo
Norway
 
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