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Watching Daytime Soap Operas
The Power of Pleasure
Louise Spence

2005 • 272 pp. 1 illus. 6 x 9"
Film, TV, Visual Culture / Women's Studies / Cultural Studies

$24.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6765-9

An engaging, in-depth look at the myriad pleasures of the soap opera fan.

Though wildly popular, daytime soaps are arguably the most denigrated and parodied of any contemporary entertainment form. For this reason, even the most devoted soap opera fans are often reticent or even secretive about the shows they love. Watching Daytime Soap Operas is a meditation on the pleasures—and displeasures—of watching and talking about daytime soap operas. In this multidisciplinary study, Louise Spence talks to 25 women about their mostly solitary viewing practices and observes many Internet chat rooms. Over 20 years in the making, the book explores the varied critical and creative ways in which the women use soap operas in their lives. Spence draws on work in reception studies, and pays particular attention to the question of what it means to be a fan. She ultimately challenges the accepted belief that soap opera viewers are passive consumers of escapist fantasy. Her study expands the current literature of this largely misunderstood television genre while making an important contribution to the field of film-TV studies.

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Reviews / Endorsements

Watching Daytime Soap Operas combines the best of those books that look at the unique textual features of the soap opera form with those that study soap opera audiences. I believe scholars and students could read this book and receive a complete education in the soap opera. To date I find it the best single book on the topic—if I were to adopt a book for use in my courses, I would choose this one.” —Jane Feuer, Professor of English, University of Pittsburgh

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LOUISE SPENCE is Professor of Media Studies at Sacred Heart University. She is a co-author of the award-winning Writing Himself into History: Oscar Micheaux, His Silent Films, and His Audiences (2000) and an avid soap opera fan.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:52:32 -0500