Entertainment-Education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change

Entertainment-Education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change

Entertainment-Education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change

Entertainment-Education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change

Synopsis

Arvind Singhal and Everett M. Rogers have developed this unique volume focused on the history and development of entertainment-education. This approach to communication is the process of designing and implementing a media message to both entertain and educate to increase audience members' knowledge about an educational issue, create favorable attitudes, and change overt behavior. It uses the universal appeal of entertainment to show individuals how they can live safer, healthier, and happier lives. Entertainment formats such as soap operas, rock music, feature films, talk shows, cartoons, comics, and theater are utilized in various countries to promote messages about educational issues. This book presents a balanced picture of the entertainment-education strategy, identifying ethical and other problems that accompany efforts to bring about social change.

Excerpt

Ev Rogers first heard of an unintended use of the entertainment-education strategy in 1975 when a Mexican television official doing graduate work at Stanford University told him about Simplemente María, a 1969 Peruvian television soap opera. In this Cinderella story, María, a household domestic employee, becomes rich and famous through her proficiency with a Singer sewing machine. This telenovela (television novel) was extremely popular in Peru and throughout Latin America when it was broadcast in other Spanish-speaking nations. The resulting rapid increase in the sales of Singer sewing machines was totally unexpected. Viewers of Simplemente María identified with María as a role model for their behavior. They also enrolled in sewing classes and in adult literacy classes, as María had done in the television series.

Such were the early beginnings, 30 years ago, of the entertainment- education strategy in television soap operas, which was then formulated by Miguel Sabido of Mexico's television network as a formal, reproducible set of design and production techniques for the construction of persuasive messages. This promising technology consequently spread to India in 1984 (with the broadcast of the television soap opera, Hum Log), to Kenya in 1988 and Tanzania in 1993, and back to India in 1996 (when the radio soap opera Tinka Tinka Sukh was broadcast). This international diffusion was facilitated by the efforts of David Poindexter, then president of Population Communications International (PCI), in New York, with considerable assistance from Miguel Sabido. Dr. Phyllis T. Piotrow and her staff in Population Communication Services at Johns Hopkins University adapted Sabido's strategy in family planning communication messages, ranging from popular songs in Mexico, the Philippines, and Nigeria, to radio and television soap operas in Nigeria, Turkey, The Gambia, Pakistan, and other nations. To date, the entertainment-education strategy has spread to projects in 75 countries, utilized in the United States, Europe, and . . .

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