Entertainment-Education and Social Change: History, Research, and Practice

Entertainment-Education and Social Change: History, Research, and Practice

Entertainment-Education and Social Change: History, Research, and Practice

Entertainment-Education and Social Change: History, Research, and Practice


Entertainment-Education and Social Change introduces readers to entertainment-education (E-E) literature from multiple perspectives. This distinctive collection covers the history of entertainment-education, its applications in the United States and throughout the world, the multiple communication theories that bear on E-E, and a range of research methods for studying the effects of E-E interventions. The editors include commentary and insights from prominent E-E theoreticians, practitioners, activists, and researchers, representing a wide range of nationalities and theoretical orientations. Examples of effective E-E designs and applications, as well as an agenda for future E-E initiatives and campaigns, make this work a useful volume for scholars, educators, and practitioners in entertainment media studies, behavior change communications, public health, psychology, social work, and other arenas concerned with strategies for social change. It will be an invaluable resource book for members of governmental and non-profit agencies, public health and development professionals, and social activists.


This book evolved out of several previous efforts to tell the story of entertainment-education (E-E). Arvind Singhal and Everett M. Rogers collaborated in a 1999 book, Entertainment-Education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change. Singhal and Rogers' volume focused on the history and theory of entertainment-education, and on the research-based findings about this strategy and its effects.

Our interest in entertainment-education, however, dates back to over 17 years ago, when editors of this volume—Singhal, Rogers, and Cody—and our colleague, Bill Brown, spent hours at the University of Southern California (USC) watching episodes of Hum Log (the first entertainment-education soap opera in India), discussing parasocial interaction, pro-social uses of the media, and much more. These discussions eventually led to interviews conducted with Miguel Sabido; the initiation of research projects in India, Tanzania, and China; and collaboration with family planning and health communication experts around the world, including David Poindexter, Phyllis Piotrow, David Andrews, Bill Ryerson, Martine Bouman, and Garth Japhet and his fellow visionaries at Soul City. The first of three international conferences on entertainment-education was held in 1989 at USC. A number of “Soap Summits” have taken place in New York and Los Angeles, and today a growing network of researchers, writers, and entertainment professionals use E-E to further a range of interests.

In 2001, Miguel Sabido, the key figure in formulating the theoretical basis for entertainment-education, served as a visiting professor at USC, where he taught a course on entertainment-education. With his USC colleague, Michael J. Cody, plans were laid for this volume.

Then, in May 2002, Singhal and Rogers collaborated in guest-editing a special issue (Volume 12/2) of the journal Communication Theory devoted to entertainment-education. With the help of Michael J. Cody, the editor of this journal, the 2002 special issue contained articles representing promising new approaches to entertainment-education. Many of these articles had previously been presented at the third International Entertainment-Education . . .

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