La telenovela : a genre of power : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)
The United States has recently seen another wave of Hispanic immigrants coming to this country. Many of these immigrants are unfamiliar with American laws and the English language. Without some type of community support, it is easy for these immigrants to find themselves in legal or financial trouble. The "Servir y Aprender" seminar at Ball State University's Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry was designed to create an educational video that could help these immigrants avoid common problems. Our seminar chose to model these videos after Spanish language soap operas because of some of the inherent qualities of this genre. Spanish language soap operas, or telenovelas, are wildly popular among Hispanic audiences, and they have also been used in some countries to influence the masses. I review a documentary entitled Telenovelas: Love, TV and Power to illustrate the power of the telenovela, and I also support the documentary with other written sources. We believed that the telenovela would be the best way to disseminate important information to newly arrived Hispanics in Indiana. After working with various community organizations in Hamilton County, Indiana, we created the telenovela "Sobrevivir" and worked with community actors to create a DVD that has been distributed all over the country.