Popular plotlines and passionate conversations: Interpreting the "Sex and the City" breast cancer storyline

Monica Victoria Alvillar, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Using the framework of entertainment-education as a media strategy, the present study sought to determine how viewers of Sex and the City (SATC) interpreted its highly gripping breast cancer storyline through conversations and group sense-making. Some 17 heavy viewers of SATC, all women, participated in this study, watching three episodes of the SATC breast cancer storyline in small group contexts. The viewings sparked conversations and discussion on a variety of topics, and five major themes emerged from an analysis of the transcripts: (1) personal identification with SATC’s characters, especially with Samantha, (2) the importance of social support during a cancer diagnosis, (3) the importance of trusting doctor-patient relationships, (4) a heightened awareness of breast cancer and other health issues, and (5) the cognitive and emotive effects of the breast cancer storyline on the respondents as involved viewers.^

Subject Area

Speech Communication

Recommended Citation

Alvillar, Monica Victoria, "Popular plotlines and passionate conversations: Interpreting the "Sex and the City" breast cancer storyline" (2010). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1482700.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1482700

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