By Carol Traynor Williams
Williams here examines soap opera sources, structure, and response, particularly from the critical viewpoints of psychology, both archetypal and empirical, and popular culture, specifically narratology and feminism, that uncover the true nature of the genre. First, Williams traces the development of soap opera from its immediate source in radio and television as well as from its fundamental source in age-old myth and storytelling. Then she analyzes the content and form that together make up the structure of soap opera. Finally, she looks at what soaps mean to watchers and in the process debunks many myths about soap opera.