Studying the Soap Opera

LaPota, Margherite; LaPota, Bruce
October 1973
Education Digest;Oct1973, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p32
This article focuses on the study of soap operas in schools. The soap operas, of course, will not be responsible for saving public education, but their study implies not only an attempt to broaden the spectrum of teaching and learning strategies, but also the discovery of a whole new vein of human skills. The daytime serial-soap opera is a true "literary" product of the electronic media. Some authorities believe, the daytime serial is already the literature of millions of the Americans. Estimates run from 10 to 30-million viewers in the United States who watch one or more daytime serials daily. That is a very respectably sized audience that depends on nonprinted material to experience another man's version of the human experience. The first step in getting the serials into the classroom is to choose the class or classes for the experiment. Explain the experiment to them. Ask the students for openmindedness and willingness to suspend disbelief, pointing out that many intelligent people are fans of one or more of the "soaps."


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