The cultural aspects of poverty remain a relatively understudied subject in marketing and media studies: both fields have been concerned mostly with reaching populations with certain level of purchasing power. This study shows the effects of mass media (specifically the soap opera viewership that constitutes “media exposure”) in the low income context especially for women. Adopting a qualitative approach, also inspired by the New Audience Research in media studies, we conducted 40 in-depth interviews with Turkish women in poverty. Our findings show that identifying themselves with the fictional soap opera characters, women drive emotional fulfillment, at times finding what they lack in their everyday lives, such as love, friendship and power. On the other hand, being exposed to the affluent ‘other life’ has consequences on their well-being, deepening the contradiction between their current situation and what they perceive as the dominant way of living, eventually leading to dissatisfaction and hopelessness.
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Ozgun, Aras; Yurdakul, Dicle; and Atik, Deniz
"How Do Soap Operas Affect the Poor? Experiences of Turkish Women,"
Markets, Globalization & Development Review:
2, Article 2.