Watching Turkish Television Dramas in Argentina: Entangled Proximities and Resigned Agency in Global Media Flows


For decades, the theory of cultural proximity, which states that audiences have a preference towards culturally proximal content (Straubhaar, 1991), has remained as a relevant framework to explain audience preferences. However, recent South-to-South intercultural media flows have challenged its contemporary applicability. In this article, we focus on one of the most recent, intriguing and still understudied developments of this phenomenon. The success of Turkish television dramas (dizi) in Latin America, the land where the telenovela was born. To explore this, we draw from twenty-five interviews conducted in 2018 and 2019 in Argentina. We develop the notion of “entangled proximities” to make sense of different viewership positionalities towards this genre, which intersect issues of gender, age, class, culture, language, ideology, and national identity, as well as issues of nostalgia, modernity, localism and cosmopolitan predispositions. Despite South-to-South differences, we show that audiences prefer the content that allows them to experience desired proximities.

Journal of Communication