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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 7 Pilot studies have shown that when young people talk about soaps, they mainly talk about the characters (Costera Meijer & De Bruin, forthcoming; De Bruin, 2001). Youths in general tend to focus on young characters (e.g. Cohen, 1999) and as mentioned ethnic minority youths can express strong criticism on representations of ethnic minority characters. Therefore, I decided to focus the interviews on young and ethnic minority characters. Before the actual interview, participants will watch an excerpt from a soap or police series episode in which either young or ethnic minority characters appear. During the interviews, questions will be asked about the characters. All questions will be open ended. The goal of the interviews is to get a grasp of the meaning the young people themselves give to the television programmes. The interviews will be guided by the use of a topic list. All topics have to be addressed, yet the order of questions is not pre-given (see Lunt & Livingstone, 1996). In the questions concerning the characters that appear in the episode, four separate levels will be touched upon: the individual, interpersonal relationships, communities and social themes. The underlying questions are as follows: 1. How do young people talk about characters in soaps and police series? 2. How do they talk about relations betweens characters? 3. How do they talk about communities to which characters belong? 4. How do they talk about social themes with which characters are connected? Furthermore, questions will be asked about the daily circumstances in which the participants watch television, how they talk about soaps and police series in daily life, how they define themselves and their ethnicity and what is their opinion on Dutch multicultural society.

Authors: de Bruin, Joost.
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Young people’s interpretations of Dutch soap operas and police series: a multicultural audience research
7
Pilot studies have shown that when young people talk about soaps, they mainly talk about the
characters (Costera Meijer & De Bruin, forthcoming; De Bruin, 2001). Youths in general tend
to focus on young characters (e.g. Cohen, 1999) and as mentioned ethnic minority youths can
express strong criticism on representations of ethnic minority characters. Therefore, I decided
to focus the interviews on young and ethnic minority characters. Before the actual interview,
participants will watch an excerpt from a soap or police series episode in which either young
or ethnic minority characters appear. During the interviews, questions will be asked about the
characters. All questions will be open ended. The goal of the interviews is to get a grasp of the
meaning the young people themselves give to the television programmes. The interviews will
be guided by the use of a topic list. All topics have to be addressed, yet the order of questions
is not pre-given (see Lunt & Livingstone, 1996).
In the questions concerning the characters that appear in the episode, four separate levels will
be touched upon: the individual, interpersonal relationships, communities and social themes.
The underlying questions are as follows:
1. How do young people talk about characters in soaps and police series?
2. How do they talk about relations betweens characters?
3. How do they talk about communities to which characters belong?
4. How do they talk about social themes with which characters are connected?
Furthermore, questions will be asked about the daily circumstances in which the participants
watch television, how they talk about soaps and police series in daily life, how they define
themselves and their ethnicity and what is their opinion on Dutch multicultural society.


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