Television teen-drama and HIV/AIDS: the role of genre in audience understandings of safe sex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study focuses on audience understandings of safe-sex messages ?contained? in television drama. It focuses on the process of audience construction of meaning; on the work that audiences engage in to understand HIV-related television messages. Data consist of 20 focus group discussions conducted subsequent to the viewing of one of two AIDS-related television programmes. Following a Shotterian approach to meaning construction, analyses of audience transcripts indicates that genre is an important hermeneutic tool shaping audience understandings of, and engaement with, health related messages. However, audience emphasis on ?the messag? works against audience engagement with this message. The message is so clearly signalled to viewers that they are able to prepare their defences against the message before it even arrives. The implications for health promotion via mass media generally are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-96
Number of pages20
JournalContinuum:Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
Volume15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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drama
television
genre
AIDS
television program
hermeneutics
mass media
health promotion
group discussion
health

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abstract = "This study focuses on audience understandings of safe-sex messages ?contained? in television drama. It focuses on the process of audience construction of meaning; on the work that audiences engage in to understand HIV-related television messages. Data consist of 20 focus group discussions conducted subsequent to the viewing of one of two AIDS-related television programmes. Following a Shotterian approach to meaning construction, analyses of audience transcripts indicates that genre is an important hermeneutic tool shaping audience understandings of, and engaement with, health related messages. However, audience emphasis on ?the messag? works against audience engagement with this message. The message is so clearly signalled to viewers that they are able to prepare their defences against the message before it even arrives. The implications for health promotion via mass media generally are discussed.",
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