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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of Philosophy
Title Mareledi: An Audience-Reception Study of an HIV/AIDS Entertainment-Education Serial Television Drama in Botswana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=ohiou1461322756&disposition=inline
The purpose of this study is to understand how audience members of ‘Mareledi,’
an entertainment-education serial television drama in Botswana, create meaning of
HIV/AIDS messages communicated through the serial television drama. More
specifically, the present study considers how audience members of Mareledi make sense
of HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention messages through their involvement with the
Mareledi narrative.
Two qualitative methodologies—focus groups and semi-structured, in-depth
interviews—were used to understand how audience members make sense of
entertainment-education programs through their involvement with narratives. The
narrative paradigm is used as a theoretical framework for the study. The theory suggests
that people experience and understand life as a series of ongoing narratives.
The study revealed that audience members understand and interpret the
HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention messages in the drama through a humanistic
perspective. While they recognize the sociocultural beliefs and practices that continue to
influence the spread of HIV/AIDS in Botswana, audience members try to negotiate their
lives within these limitations. More specifically, female audience members were vocal
about some of the social and cultural beliefs and practices they do not agree with.
However, older men still adhere to these sociocultural beliefs that suppress and
disempower women in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Nevertheless, Mareledi presents a
predominantly negative depiction of male characters. In this way, the drama fails its
charge by negatively stereotyping men. Mareledi needs to include more positive male
role models.
Audience members identified HIV/AIDS message fatigue as an important factor
to consider when discussing entertainment interventions in Botswana. They believe
HIV/AIDS message fatigue has contributed to a lower risk perception of HIV/AIDS.
Therefore entertainment educations in Botswana should widen and vary the scope of the
underlying messages from being exclusively about HIV/AIDS to integrate other
important health and sociocultural issues.

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