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Title: 'Negotiated outcomes' : an ethnography of the production and consumption of a BBC World Service radio soap opera for Afghanistan.
Author: Skuse, Andrew.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1999
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This study examines the production and consumption of a BBC World Service soap opera called New Home, New Life that is produced for the radio listening public of Afghanistan. Ethnographic fieldwork was undertaken at the BBC's radio production unit in northern Pakistan and in Pashtun communities within rural and urban areas in south-east and central Afghanistan. Critically informed by a material culture perspective, this thesis promotes a relational approach to the study of mass media production and consumption, this being perceived to represent an advance on studies that ignore spheres of production in favour of audience consumption. The choices and resources that listeners invest in radio services is addressed from the standpoint of the structuring of relations of trust, which in turn is related to issues of popularity, conflict and domestic radio use. The structures and prosaic daily patterns of radio soap opera production are addressed, with analysis being deepened to examine the production definition and audience appropriation of the soap opera's fictive context and characters. Here, issues of episodic and melodramatic structure also come to the fore. The representation of politics and religion represents a critical aspect of production, consumption and BBC impartiality, yet beneath policy it is shown that a far more social and negotiated form of production occurs. Following this analysis, the issues of localisation, romance and producer-consumer articulations are considered. Finally, the sociality of the soap opera is traced through audience gossip and the impact that emotive storylines have upon male and female listeners. Here, the issues of gender and space emerge in analytical focus.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: New home, new life; Radio Anthropology Folklore Literature Mass media Performing arts