Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Mass Communication and Media Arts
Although research on the genre of the soap opera is some of the earliest research present in mass communications scholarship, and despite the considerable amount of existing scholarship on the genre of the telenovela, the subgenre of the teen telenovela, as present in Mexico and other Latin American countries, has been mostly overlooked. It is undeniable that this subgenre is worth researching, however, if not because of the quality of its content, which has been called into question many times, then due to the significant number of people who consume it. At a time when Mexican telenovelas are struggling, it is the teenage public that continues to give Televisa, Mexico’s largest network, its highest ratings. This study focuses on one particular text in the genre, the teen telenovela Rebelde (Damián, 2004). Rebelde is an important telenovela to study for several reasons: its place in time, its target audience, its deviations from the genre, its massive popularity, and the fact that most of the existing scholarship on Mexican telenovelas focuses on texts which are much older. This dissertation uses textual analysis as a methodology in order to analyze six common themes of the teen telenovela: friendship, romance, childhood, school, rebellion and music. The purpose of this dissertation is to look at how these themes are represented in Rebelde, and at the way in which they draw elements from the genre of the traditional telenovela as well as from teenage content popular in other countries. The study also aims to analyze how this has allowed Rebelde to promote ideologies such as postfeminism, while still engaging with the more traditional ideology of the telenovela genre.
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