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Texts of female desire and of community

By A. Madill and R. Goldmeier


This study investigated narratives obtained from 45 participants about their watching of EastEnders. The first aim was to understand why people watch this program. The second aim was to identify the kinds of social object dominating their accounts as a way of revealing the forms of cultural debate catalyzed by the show. Material was generated via an open-ended e-mail questionnaire and analyzed qualitatively using grounded theory. Two major themes constituting social objects were identified; female desire and community. These themes were made-up of seven categories each of which helped explain why our participants watched EastEnders; reduced troubles, gender, relaxation, social activity, community, realism, and Britishness. We discuss these results in relation to past research but also argue that, as our findings suggest some participants gained a therapeutic effect from watching EastEnders, there is a fruitful and little explored link between such comfort viewing and research on psychotherapy

Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 2003
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