Local reception of global media texts: Telenovelas as sites of cultural mixture in Ghana
Telenovelas have had phenomenal success as global media texts, but their continuous export to Africa has signifi cant cultural implications. Using hybridity theory and Stuart Hall’s encoding/decoding model of audience reception, this paper assessed the extent to which Simply Maria, an ‘indigenised’ telenovela of Mexican origin, infl uenced the local identity of Ghanaian viewers and the mechanisms through which this occurred. Interviews with regular viewers revealed that the telenovela shaped views about personal identity. This occurred through internalisation, value-based evaluations and identifi cation with characters. Viewers decoded the telenovela from a negotiated position, a development which calmed the homogenising currents of globalisation feared by cultural theorists.
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