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Soap opera is a form of serial television they are on going stories which run from one episode to the next keeping our interest by posing questions or setting up conflicts which will not be resolved until the next episode Soap opera works as a more open text than many other forms of television this therefore means that there is a more complicated hierarchy of discourses Soap opera is meant to be watched by a mainly female audience but the number of men in the audience is increasing This is due to the form and the content within the soap opera Women are privileged over men The main reason that soap operas are so popular is that they offer a different perspective on the ideas of gender and family which is not seen in other genres of television For example women are not punished for having feminine qualities instead they are privileged because of them such as Peggy Mitchell from Eastenders who is portrayed as a Matriarch and is privileged for her domestic qualities of running the pub and caring for her son The men within soap operas have to display some female qualities for example in the episode of Eastenders on the 7th May 2002 Phil has revealed his feelings for Sharon but she has rejected them and has flirted with other men in the previous episode and in the episode on the 7th Phil is privileged over Sharon because he has displayed feminine qualities and she has rejected them Sharon is therefore placed lower down the hierarchy of discourse than Phil in the scene This is shown through the form of the program as well as the content Sharon is mainly placed at the back and the sides of frames whereas Phil is in the centre and he seems to motivate the camera movement this shows that Phil is higher up the hierarchy of discourse When the dialogue between Phil and Sharon is
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