The town of asa branca: Constructing public spaces in Brazil
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This paper follows the construction of a televisual public space in Brazil since the 1950s until the present, with special attention to television fiction and soap operas, known as novelas in Brazil. The role of novela writers as mass mediators responsible for weaving together a growing public is investigated, with emphasis on their political projects and their responsibilities when writing for millions. Although aided by an industrial process, their task of reaching the public is one full of misunderstandings, which I contend is an intrinsic part of the environment of mass communication. The acceptance of these unavoidable misunderstandings by all involved in mass communication is crucial for the continuation of a communicative game, as we see in the case of Brazilian television. I would like to thank all the people who watched television with me and made it a meaningful game, and especially my father Henrique Pait who, parodying the characters or inserting himself in the dialogues on the screen, managed to disrupt any intended melodrama and make the televisual space one of laughter and reflection. I would also like to thank the novela writers and viewers who granted me interviews, the Brazilian Research Foundation CAPES for their support during my doctoral studies at The New School University, as well as The Communication Review kind editors and reviewers for their illuminating comments. © 2005, Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.