about

This video shows a few excerpts from the television series Soul City, an "entertainment-education" campaign in South Africa that successfully stimulated a community response to the issue of domestic violence.  Entertainment-education projects aim to promote positive (prosocial) messages by embedding them into commercially viable entertainment programming for radio and television. Within the plot of this particular show, whenever neighbors heard a wife being abused by her husband, they started banging their pots at their windows, thus calling attention to the incident and condemning it at the community level. The series was extremely popular in the country, and soon enough people began to emulate this behavior and take action to oppose real cases of domestic violence by loudly banging their pots in the neighborhood. Through the power of narrative, this entertainment-education campaign helped challenge the general attitude of social acceptance regarding domestic violence in South Africa.

Discussion

Do you think popular media (like television, film, or music) should play a role in promoting positive values and behaviors and society? Why or why not?

Do you think most (or some) media fulfills this function? Why or why not?

Can you think of other examples in which entertainment media was used to stimulate a positive social outcome?