Journal article Open Access
Dimitra Laurence Larochelle
Art Style | Art & Culture International Magazine
Since the introduction of soft power theory by Joseph Nye, many political and media scientists as well as elite journalists have used this concept in order to analyze the impact of transnational media texts and their effects on local audiences. Despite its popularity, the soft power theory raises several questions that should be taken under consideration. First, it presupposes a direct link between a product’s attractiveness and the ability to influence other nations on a diplomatic level. Second, it underestimates the complexity of the reception process of media texts by the audiences and third, it does not take under consideration the complexity of the relationship between two countries which may be defined by historic and strategic elements and in which soft power may play only a limited role.
Through this article we present the results of our empirical research concerning the reception of Turkish soap-operas by the audience in Greece. Undeniably, Turkish soap-operas attract Greek audiences for several reasons such as cultural proximity, identity negotiation, alternative storylines etc. and which may conduct activities in relation to these particular soap-operas (i.e. soap-opera induced tourism) or to Turkish civilization in general (i.e. learning Turkish language). However, this attraction should not be confounded with the desire to overcome long-enduring rivalries and negative feelings that are due to tangible as well as on emotional elements in order to follow Turkish government’s interests as soft power theory suggests. Therefore, the attraction of local audiences by transnational texts such as Turkish soap-operas, should not be considered as a de facto success of Turkey’s soft power. Consequently, soft power should rather be used as a communicational intentionality.
6_Pages from Art Style Magazine | Volume 3 | Issue 3 | September 2019-7.pdf
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