Social Merchandising: Human Trafficking in Brazilian Soap Opera


Human trafficking is one of today’s largest shadow economies. This theme was included in plot of Salve Jorge, a soap opera in Brazil (broadcasted by Globo Network between October 2012 and May 2013). This article analyzes the social merchandising, an approach given to international human trafficking in entertainment venues of television, especially, from the telenovela Salve Jorge. The strategy of inclusion of social issues in the plots is recognized as social merchandising. So, it is in this privileged media space that the story of a social problem is also constituted. The study focuses on the discussion of the power of the telenovela to dramatize issues of public interest, having main broadcasting and audience of Salve Jorge. One seeks to question the maintenance and the impact of the subject of human trafficking as a dialogue between fiction and reality portrayed by Brazilian television. The show, Salve Jorge, is based on the real-life story of a Brazilian woman who was led to Israel and forced into prostitution. Therefore, human trafficking emerges as the central theme of this study over the main plot of Salve Jorge.

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Alves, D. and Weber, M. (2015) Social Merchandising: Human Trafficking in Brazilian Soap Opera. Advances in Journalism and Communication, 3, 89-99. doi: 10.4236/ajc.2015.34010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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