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As the most popular and enduring TV genre worldwide, soap opera is an essential element of any media studies course. This teaching guide looks at four key areas in TV soap opera: forms and conventions, representations, institutions, and audiences. It provides an accessible and concise overview of the theoretical approaches to TV soap opera and offers four comprehensive case studies (on EastEnders, Coronation Street, Neighbours and Hollyoaks) to support and illustrate these approaches.
The topics covered include: the history of the soap opera genre, narrative conventions, ideas of realism, TV production contexts, approaches to soap opera audiences, links with other media and issues of ideology. This guide is written by teachers, combining challenging theory with accessible and practical teaching ideas. It is suitable for use in: advanced level media studies courses (OCR A2, AQA AS/A2, WJEC AS/A2); AQA A2 communications studies; Edexcel AVCE in media and Scottish Qualifications Authority's media studies Higher. Additional support materials, including photocopiable worksheets for students, are available online at the companion website.
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