Written by Marilyn J. Matelski. It’s very readable and covers quite a few countries. The social overview and the types of soap operas are described. Then the countries are covered and series are described in greater detail. Included is an appendix with a brief description.
Australia has some of the most popular soap operas. USA has a number of popular soap operas, and distribute the most glamorous ones to other countries. South America has had the most influential ones that set the conventions for most other counties.
What surprised me is how often the soap opera is used as “social marketing” for health and economic practices that the government wishes to encourage. It’s like a fictionalized public service announcement. The soap operas also included plugs for various political races. Although nothing was mentioned about such tactics in USA soap operas, it made me wonder.
I wish I could watch some of them. I once saw an episode of Coronation Street (in the 1980s) in Canada.
The author briefly mentioned Internet soaps but I’ve never been able to get into them. If anyone knows a good one, please let me know.