Religion and TV- Religious Themes in Soap Operas

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How would you describe 'Soap Opera'?
A soap opera is a long running-seriel concerned with everyday life. The seriel is not to be confused with the series, in which the main characters and format remain the same in each programme but each episode is a self contained plot.
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What is the longest running soap opera on British tevelvision, having being broadcasted since December 1960
Coronation Street, it remains one of the highest ranking programmes on terrestrial television in the UK
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Desrcibe the setting of Cornonation Street
Set in Greater Manchester- Weatherfield. The street is made of terraced houses one one side, the 'rovers return' is at the end of a street and the corner shop on the other. On the other side is a garage, a factory an few houses and 2 other shops
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What is the 'Rovers Return'
The pub, its the centerpeice for much of the social interation within the soap-similar to both EASTENDERS and EMMERDALE
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What is the main focus of the show?
main focus is the relationships between all of the individuals-withing and outside of their own families. They also make a concious effort to include a variety of social classes and ages in it story lines.
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Why has Corination Street often been critisised?
because of its under-reperesentation of people of faith among its characters.There are somtimes allisions of people belonging to a faith community (Dev and Amber(Hindu)) but are rarely made explicit or developed
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Who is often seen to be involved in the activities of her local church (anglican) and had a brief engagement in 1994 to the Vicar, Bernard?
Emily Bishop - her character is well known for her moral principles and her sense of 'justice', but her actual religious character is otherwise unexplored
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What is, relatively speaking, standard fare in the soap?
rites of passage - religiousness is itself largelt ignored.
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There have been many weddings within the shows history, but 24 million people whatched WHO get married in 1981?
Ken Barlow and Deirdre Langton
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The show makes up for its lack of portrayal of characters religiousness in the moral arena. The moral dilemmas portrayed have often been quite extreme, what are some that have been included?
Murder, domestic abuse, teenage pregnancies, adultery and trans-sexuality
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What soap was first broadcasted by BBC1 in February 1985?
Eastenders
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Describe the setting of Eastenders...
Set in the fictional London borough of Walford- Albert Sqaure. Houses and flats, small busineses, a pub and a steet market.
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What does it centre its storylines around?
Much like Corination Street, its centres its storylines around the inhabitants of this specific setting, but has broadened out in recent years to try and give a sense of realism to the show.
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what has the show explored in-depth?
The concept of the importance of family and the moral questions that arise from this
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From the very beginning Eastenders has includ explicity religious characters, most famously who?
Don Cotton who was a christian
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Why have these religious portrayals attracted strong critisism?
They were accused of anti-religious bias by Dr Indarijit Singh
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What did Dr Indarijit Singh say about Eastenders?
Eastenders' Don Cotton is an example. She quotes endlessly from the Bible and it ridicules religion to some extent
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What did Chakaravarthi Ram-Prasad of the Department of Religious Studies at the University or Lancaster state?
'....Soap operas tend to used stereotypes - the christians are mad fundamentalists, the Hindus are in arranged marriages'
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Who were these critisims echoed by?
The House of Lords' select committee.
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What did the House of Lords see wrong in the show?
a number of examples of religion being deliberatly underminded because it stereotypical and inaccurate reperesentations of people of faith communities
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What the did the BBC have poor knowledge of?
Religion, and also that it ignored permeated throughout its entire programming
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When it comes to moral issues, what has Eastenders never been afraid to take on?
Controversial storylines, such as: ****, murder, abortion, child abuse, child abduction, euthanasia, drugs, HIV, etc.
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The way Eastenders has dealt with these storylines have what?
Helped to raise public awareness of their existence
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What is an obvious starting point when trying to identify religious themes within a soap?
Beliefs, practices and eithical values.
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In soaps, what should always be remembered?
That the prime objective of the programme is to tell a story. For this reason, characters, story lines and themes - religious or not- are only there to further the story.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Coronation Street, it remains one of the highest ranking programmes on terrestrial television in the UK

Back

What is the longest running soap opera on British tevelvision, having being broadcasted since December 1960

Card 3

Front

Set in Greater Manchester- Weatherfield. The street is made of terraced houses one one side, the 'rovers return' is at the end of a street and the corner shop on the other. On the other side is a garage, a factory an few houses and 2 other shops

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The pub, its the centerpeice for much of the social interation within the soap-similar to both EASTENDERS and EMMERDALE

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

main focus is the relationships between all of the individuals-withing and outside of their own families. They also make a concious effort to include a variety of social classes and ages in it story lines.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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