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This article analyses discussions of an episode of Dallas by focus groups of different ethnic origins in Israel and the United States. It identifies four rhetorical mechanisms by which viewers may 'involve' themselves in or 'distance' themselves from the story: referential v. critical framings; real v .play keyings; collective' or universal v. personal referents; and normative v. value-free evaluations. Use of these mechanisms varied across the groups, and when the cultures were arrayed along a multidimensional involvement scale overseas viewers appeared to be more involved in the programme than Americans. Possible roles for involvement in the process of viewer susceptibility to programme messages are then discussed.
Date Posted: 19 April 2011
This document has been peer reviewed.