The Export of Meaning

The Export of Meaning : Cross-cultural Readings of "Dallas"

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Is there really a global village out there? It may be true that the whole world is watching Dallas and Dynasty, but is everyone seeing the same story? It is a fashionable worry among academics, critics and politicians that American hit programs are agents of cultural imperialism. Until now, however, nobody has known what message, if any, the viewer is actually getting and what critical capabilities he or she commands. In this book, Katz and Liebes analyze conversations about Dallas among groups of families and friends in six different sub-cultures in Israel (where the program was an all-time best-seller), in Japan (where it was rejected), and in the U.S. (the original target audience). The authors propose that there is a process of negotiation between these quintessentially American stories and what the viewers bring to them: their life experiences, the "texts" of their culture, and their expectations from the genre of family drama. A study of these negotiations leads to a typology of "readings" ranging from those that connect the characters with reality to those that find pleasure in the way the puzzle is put together. Concluding that television viewers possess considerably more critical ability than they are often given credit for, this fascinating study will interest a wide range of students and academics in communications, anthropology, literature, semiotics, sociology, and education.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 195 pages
  • 170.18 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 408.23g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • tabs.
  • 0195054873
  • 9780195054873

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7 ratings
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