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Young people's interpretations of Dutch soap operas and police series: a multicultural audience research
Unformatted Document Text:  Young people’s interpretations of Dutch soap operas and police series: a multicultural audience research 2 EXTENDED ABSTRACT Introduction The present study investigates how young people from diverse ethnic backgrounds give meaning to Dutch soap operas and police series. Soaps and police series are very popular in The Netherlands. The soap opera Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden (Good Times Bad Times) draws an audience of up to 2 million viewers. The police series Baantjer reaches an even larger audience: 2.5 million viewers 12 . Popular television drama is one of the favourite television genres of Dutch young people – next to films, sports programmes and music videos (Van der Werf, 2000). Especially the soaps draw many young viewers. This is not only true for white Dutch youths, but interestingly enough also for ethnic minority youths (Veldkamp, 1997). Girls watch more soaps than boys. All domestic soaps register a 3:1 girl:boy ratio. The young audience of Dutch police series is more or less evenly divided between the genders. By watching Dutch popular television drama, ethnic minority youths cross a cultural border. The domestic soaps and police series convey an image of ‘Dutch’ culture. According to O’Donnell (1999), Dutch soaps are typically ‘Dutch’ because the characters interact with each other in a loving and caring way without getting too emotional. Furthermore, he typifies the somewhat serious and sombre atmosphere in Dutch soaps as representative of ‘Dutch’ culture. Moran (1998) names other aspects in which the setting of Dutch soaps has a ‘Dutch’ feel to it, like a vase with flowers on the table, the use of the cheese slicer and a painting of a windmill hanging on the kitchen wall. The Dutch police series can be recognised as ‘Dutch’ because they are set in two ‘big’ Dutch cities, namely Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Between the scenes that depict the storylines we see stock shots of for example the Amsterdam canals and the Rotterdam harbour. 1 Ratings obtained from the audience research department of the national broadcasting organisation NOS KLO. 2 The Netherlands currently have a population of 16 million people.

Authors: de Bruin, Joost.
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background image
Young people’s interpretations of Dutch soap operas and police series: a multicultural audience research
2
EXTENDED ABSTRACT
Introduction
The present study investigates how young people from diverse ethnic backgrounds give
meaning to Dutch soap operas and police series. Soaps and police series are very popular in
The Netherlands. The soap opera Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden (Good Times Bad Times)
draws an audience of up to 2 million viewers. The police series Baantjer reaches an even
larger audience: 2.5 million viewers
12
. Popular television drama is one of the favourite
television genres of Dutch young people – next to films, sports programmes and music videos
(Van der Werf, 2000). Especially the soaps draw many young viewers. This is not only true
for white Dutch youths, but interestingly enough also for ethnic minority youths (Veldkamp,
1997). Girls watch more soaps than boys. All domestic soaps register a 3:1 girl:boy ratio. The
young audience of Dutch police series is more or less evenly divided between the genders.
By watching Dutch popular television drama, ethnic minority youths cross a cultural
border. The domestic soaps and police series convey an image of ‘Dutch’ culture. According
to O’Donnell (1999), Dutch soaps are typically ‘Dutch’ because the characters interact with
each other in a loving and caring way without getting too emotional. Furthermore, he typifies
the somewhat serious and sombre atmosphere in Dutch soaps as representative of ‘Dutch’
culture. Moran (1998) names other aspects in which the setting of Dutch soaps has a ‘Dutch’
feel to it, like a vase with flowers on the table, the use of the cheese slicer and a painting of a
windmill hanging on the kitchen wall. The Dutch police series can be recognised as ‘Dutch’
because they are set in two ‘big’ Dutch cities, namely Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Between
the scenes that depict the storylines we see stock shots of for example the Amsterdam canals
and the Rotterdam harbour.
1
Ratings obtained from the audience research department of the national broadcasting organisation NOS KLO.
2
The Netherlands currently have a population of 16 million people.


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