Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Role of the Imagined Worlds of Narrative in Social Change in Kenya: Exploring narrative consumption tendencies amongst youth in urban Nairobi and their interaction with fictional texts geared at altering health behaviour
by Menon, Kamini, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2011, 98; 10305731
Abstract (Summary)

This research paper in a manifestation of my interest in the mechanisms of imagined worlds of narrative to bring about progressive social change, in the context of global flows of contemporary media movements. I begin with an exploration of the theoretical aspects of narrative and its creation of imagined worlds, specifically those of morality, tradition and the self. All these themes pertain to the reception of the main case study being investigated, a television mini-series shot and broadcast in Kenya called Shuga . Targeted at urban youth in Kenya, the show aimed to inculcate certain conscious health behaviours surrounding the HIV-AIDS disease through fictional narrative. From the results of surveys and interviews with 160 students at two major university institutions in Kenya, I gauge what sort of television programming consumption habits are prevalent amongst this community, as a basis for evaluating the success of Shuga in changing certain attitudes and behaviours. I briefly touch on the specificity of television as a deliverer of narrative, and comment on the predominant affiliation of Kenyan youth with the ‘global black’ phenomenon. The narratives in the show, and those of its watchers, form an important component of the ethos of this paper. In the conclusions I evaluate the success of Shuga in relation to the theoretical constructs I explore before.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor:
Commitee:
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: Global Communications
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Public health, Sub Saharan Africa Studies, Health education, Mass communications
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Health behavior, Kenya, Narrative consumption, Social change, Television, Urban youth
Publication Number: 10305731
ISBN: 9781369492958
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