Telenovela writers under the military regime in brazil: Beyond the cooption and resistance dichotomy

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This article aims to analyse the strategic choices made by left-wing telenovela writers during the military regime in Brazil, their complex relationships with their employer, Globo Network, and the regime's various forms of censorship. The arrival of many critical cultural producers in the television industry during the authoritarian period in Brazil (1964-85) and the alleged close links between Globo Network and the military regime stirred an intense debate among the Brazilian intelligentsia. The participation of these cultural producers in the small-screen arena during the authoritarian period has been almost invariably considered by their detractors in terms of cooption/domination, or as a form of resistance by their defenders. The recent opening of the Censor Division Archives and the deluge of biographies, autobiographies and testimonials of key television figures during the authoritarian regime, have opened up new perspectives for examining Brazilian television history. Instead of the seemingly almost perfect harmony between the military regime and the television industry, as represented by Brazilian communication giant Globo Network, the present analysis focuses on some of the tensions, subtle struggles and spaces of relative autonomy within the telenovela field during the period of authoritarian rule in Brazil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-673
Number of pages15
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Brazilian authoritarian regime
  • censorship
  • domination/cooption
  • resistance
  • semi-autonomous field
  • telenovela writers


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