Soap Opera Reception in Greece: Resistance, Negotiation and Viewing Position

Frangou, Georgia Phoebe. 2002. Soap Opera Reception in Greece: Resistance, Negotiation and Viewing Position. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (Soap Opera Reception in Greece: Resistance, Negotiation and Viewing Position)
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Abstract or Description

This thesis aims to contribute to debates concerning the possibility and nature of resistance in the consumption of popular culture. I attempted to delineate the patterns through which Greek male and female viewers construct and use the meanings of domestic and foreign soap operas, in the context of their everyday life.

The questions that have guided my research have been the following: how do men and women of different social backgrounds relate to soap operas of different ethnic origins? Do their discourses and practices challenge the soap opera text and its ideological currency? Do they empower them in any way? What is the role of gender, class, and national identity in this process?

I conducted in depth interviews with 35 soap opera fans (19 women - 16 men) and their qualitative analysis led me to distinguish between three viewing positions, that is, the attitudes, pleasures, and practices that characterized the patterns of reception that I encountered: the aesthetic position, the position of the social observer, and the ironic distance position. Several viewers negotiated between two positions according to the social dynamics of the viewing setting and the text's ethnic origin.

These positions are further analyzed in relation to gender, class and age. The marked differences in the reception of indigenous, as opposed to foreign soaps, underline the significance of ethno-cultural identity. The cultural meanings and uses of soap opera may differ substantially, depending on the social group of the viewers. The thesis concludes that resistance does not always involve oppositional readings and that it is still a useful notion to describe certain practices and discourses in television reception that take place at a personal, social and symbolic level.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Popular Culture, Greece, Soap Opera, Resistance, Negotiation, Viewing, Patterns of Reception

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

30 Jun 2020 14:48

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 12:47


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