ABSTRACT

During the summer of 1986, the Tubingen Soap Opera Project team conducted twenty-six ethnographic interviews with viewers in western Oregon. The first part of this paper places our study within the context of recent ethnographic work on particular social audiences of popular texts and describes our research design. The second part gives a preliminary report of our analyses and is divided into three sections: 1) soap operas in the context of everyday life for women working in the home; 2) how viewers construct the soap opera as a text; and 3) a feminist approach to the issue of gender and genre. Finally, we take a discursive approach to the interviews conducted by Kreutzner, Warth, and Seiter in all-female groups in our postscript on gendered discourse.