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Seize the Day: the challenge: social stigmas in a soap opera with disabilities as main character

Grant number: 11/22587-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): February 28, 2013
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Communications - Theory of Communication
Principal researcher:Rosana de Lima Soares
Grantee:Leandro Carabet
Home Institution: Escola de Comunicações e Artes (ECA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


When we observe in a broad perspective how the media presents people with disabilities and the stigma involving the narratives and languages about them, it's possible to remarkable that there are discourses that work in the building of social stigmas, reinforcing them. Other discourses are commited to the unfolding of the relationships involving the person with disability and the surrounding society. It is well known that soap operas have a far range in Brazilian society and they play a significant role in the construction of the national identity and in the imaginary and public opinion of Brazilian people. Brazilian soap operas are the selected object of research, taking into consideration the impact of the information they carry out and the social role that these productions perform. In 2009, Globo Network aired the soap opera "Seize the day" ("Viver a vida", in Portuguese), written by Manoel Carlos. This production stands out among others. Disabilities were privileged, had a protagonism, and weren't shown in condemnation: the main character was quadriplegic. Therefore, this production was selected as the main object of the present analysis. In this research, we intend to analyze aspects of the language used to build the scenes of "Seize the day", observing the aspects of audiovisual speech as well, such as framing, soundtrack and image editing. We also intend to relate them to some aspects of Discourse Analysis (regarding its relationship to the context). In doing that we expect to identify speeches present the given soap opera's plot in order to bring out the shades of social stigmas and of prejudices, which are emerge in society's attitudes in face of the person with disabilities. Keywords: Communication, Brazilian soap opera, disabilities, social stigma, Discourse, Seize the day, Globo Network (AU)

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