Saturday, February 28, 2009

An Analysis of how Limpopo Women in Elim Negotiate Meaning of HIV/AIDS Television Advertisements

By Muleya Tshimangadzo

This study takes the form of a quantitative audience reception analysis; to investigate how a particular group of female audiences situated in Elim negotiate televised HIV/AIDS prevention advertisements. It was drawn from the theoretical framework of Hypodermic needle theory, cultural studies, reception analysis and Social marketing.

It probes the way which the social situations influences the audiences’ acceptance or rejection of preferred readings encoded in the texts by the producers of messages. Data for the investigation was collected through questionnaire method. The findings established that the female audiences’ interpretations of HIV/AIDS messages were informed by their lived experience, pre-existing knowledge as well as their social intersection with other messages.

Based on the findings it can be concluded that, in converse to earlier beliefs of media theories such as that of the “hypodermic needle” theory, which believed that the audiences of the media are passive recipient, the audience is active in the production of meaning.

The data collected by show that the samples of 68.2 percent (thirty two) of women in Elim have gone to school, where as 31.8 percent (fifteen) of the women have never gone to school. On the 68.2 percent (thirty two) of women who have gone to school, include only 8.7 percent (four) who have attended tertiary, 40.4 percent (nineteen) attended primary school and 19.1 percent (nine) attended high school. The majority of Elim women are educated, but they have not furthered their studies. Most of them have gone to school so that they can be able to write their name. So it is difficult for them to interpret the meanings that HIV/AIDS prevention messages promulgate, as encoders prefer.

Majority of women 89.4 percent (forty two) of women in Elim have access to television. This really shows that that majority of the women in Elim are exposed to the HIV/AIDS prevention messages. While on the issues of love relationships, the sample of 89.4 percent (forty two) of Elim women are in love relationships, and only10.6 percent (five) are not in love relationships. The research also discovered that only 17.0 percent (eight) of women use condom.

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