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Compare the representation of ethnicity in a range of popular mainstream TV programmes or soap operas.

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Unsa Akhtar Media Coursework Compare the representation of ethnicity in a range of popular mainstream TV programmes or soap operas. Soap opera was a phrase that people used in the 1930s in USA. It was to describe radio series. The opera came from the fact that they were about dilemmas and real life situations that people have on a daily basis. As the radio series popularity grew, they became televised in the 1950s. Soon it was spread around the world and it grew and grew so more people of different ethnic backgrounds had to be introduced to the soaps. Coronation Street is the longest running TV soap in the world. After the successes of Dallas (among others) in America, soap started to suddenly became more popular in the '80s. This caused the beginning of new British soaps such as Brookside and EastEnders. Also, the success of Australian soaps like Neighbours and Home and Away caused British soaps to reconsider their target audience and therefore, their characters. Programmes now portray multi-racial communities to represent the different races in society. In soaps, producers try not to stereotype other ethnic minorities so as not to cause offence to their multi-racial viewers. ...read more.


In EastEnders, the richer families are usually White such as the Mitchell's but this can be contrasted to Billy and Honey who are also White and are having problems with money and debt. This would not cause outrage, as there is a balance. The Mitchells previously owned a large part of the property available on the square. In the episode aired on Tuesday 13th March 07, the Black family in EastEnders are having family problems, which include Denise and her family. Denise goes to stay with Yolande and Patrick, who are also Black, while she sorts out things with her boyfriend. This could be seen as offensive as people may say that they are trying to convey negative feelings about family in the Black community. This is an example of mixed relationships, which can also include Denise's daughter, Chelsea, and her new boyfriend, Sean. The negativity may be overlooked, as there is more than one race in that particular relationship but Sean only seems to be with Chelsea to make the person he really likes jealous and she happens to be White. ...read more.


In the episodes of the soaps that were shown on Tuesday 13th March 07, there are more White extras in the background of Hollyoaks while there is a balance in EastEnders as you can see Asian, Black and White extras. This may be by accident but there should also be a balance of the extras even though many of them will not say anything at all. Overall, Hollyoaks has a better image for the area it is based in whereas EastEnders does not due to the fact there are less Asian and Black people but in reality, there is a balance in London. Even though Hollyoaks does not have a balance between Black, Asian and White people, it still represents the area of Chester. When EastEnders uses other ethnic minorities, they usually stereotype problems like family and relationships. Therefore, I believe that Hollyoaks is much more successful in using other ethnic minorities in a positive and non-stereotypical way as they are shown as having healthy and steady relationships. However the effectiveness and whether they actually fulfil the initial aim completely relies on the quality if the scripts, the availability of the storylines and the willingness of the producers to defy conventions. ...read more.

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