Skip to content

Dr. Carolina Matos Posts

Television, popular culture and the Latin American and Brazilian identity

Extract from ‘Media and Politics in Latin America’ – Chapter 6

In the previous chapter, I examined the role that television played in Northern Europe and the UK, exploring major television and audience theories, starting from the Frankfurt School perspectives and the pessimistic stances regarding television, to the active audience and uses and gratification research tradition. The latter has gained ground amid the contestation of the complexities involved in the audiences‟ experience worldwide of reading media texts. In regards to UK broadcasting, I investigated the debates on what is understood by „quality‟ in both commercial and public broadcasting, and related this to the different ideological understandings of the diverse functions of the media in their relationship to democratization. The UFRJ results for instance underlined the audiences‟ acknowledgement of the importance and relevance of PSBs, although there is still a lot of uncertainty in Brazil on how precisely the public media can contribute to media pluralism and democratization.

Comments closed

Gender Representation – Liberating the Female and Re-thinking Gender

Where’s the man? – Gender representation, Liberating the Female and Re-thinking Gender in Absolutely Fabulous

Gender debates in the academia are still highly influenced by psychoanalytical theory. Although references will be made to some debates, I intend to adopt a cultural approach towards gender representation in Absolutely Fabulous (BBC, 1992-1995) that values the genre’s characteristics (i.e. satire), its Camp aesthetics and the influence on the series of consumerist culture. The relevance of Absolutely Fabulous to this study of gender is the complex combination that the series makes between the representation of gender ambiguities and the celebration of consumerism, incorporating a further criticism of the status quo.

Comments closed

Journalism and Political Democracy in Brazil (extract)

Journalism and Political Democracy in Brazil is an investigation into the complexities of the relationship established between the media and the government.

Many South American countries in the last two decades experienced significant political and social changes, embracing representative liberal democracy and the global market after having lived through relatively long dictatorship periods. After escaping from the tentacles of the military generals (1964-1985), which kept the country tied to an old economic model of state intervention and to a weak form of political institutionalisation with fragile freedom of expression, Brazil reduced the role of the state, diving into the waters of the market. At a first glance, the contemporary scenario seems to invite only optimism: the market permitted stronger governmental accountability and a means of safeguarding citizens from corruption. Political democracy was also consolidated, with full competitive and free elections held regularly. Certain groups of civil society players were included in the mainstream arena and a relative degree of press independence and freedom was achieved due to political democratisation and market expansion. The contemporary years nonetheless have been highly contradictory, with the market and the state and the various societal spheres being overwhelmed in tensions.

Comments closed

Globalization and the mass media

How Globalization and the mass media facilitate culture exchange!

The mass media are seen today as playing a key role in enhancing globalization, facilitating culture exchange and multiple flows of information and image between countries through international news broadcasts, television programming, new technologies, film and music. If before the 1990’s mainstream media systems in most countries of the world were relatively national in scope, since then most communication media have become increasingly global, extending their reach beyond the nation-state to conquer audiences worldwide. International flows of information have been largely assisted by the development of global capitalism, new technologies and the increasing commercialisation of global television, which has occurred as a consequence of the deregulation policies adopted by various countries in Europe and the US in order to permit the proliferation of cable and satellite channels.

Comments closed