Securities Laws in Soap Operas and Telenovelas: Are All My Children Engaged in Securities Fraud?
34 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2008 Last revised: 27 Apr 2009
Date Written: December 30, 2008
Securities law images are broadcast to millions worldwide through soap operas and telenovelas. Doctors, and professionals in other fields, have recognized the power of dramatic serials. They have generated a rich body of scholarship demonstrating how these mediums of popular culture impart health messages or effect social change. This author describes some of those empirical studies and suggests that legal scholars conduct similar empirical or ethnographic studies, particularly on the impact of portrayals of complex legal issues such as securities fraud in serials. The author explains differences and similarities between telenovelas and soap operas and compares portrayals of legal issues in those types of dramatic serials to portrayals in other type of popular culture mediums, such as films. Using content analysis, the author then examines in depth an insider trading story arc in the soap opera All My Children and a deceptive accounting story line in the telenovela La Fea Mas Bella. The author evaluates the images portrayed and in the process critiques some of those securities laws. The author submits that soap operas and telenovelas are both social educators and social mirrors and that the images depicted in these popular mediums about securities laws influence, for better or worse, society's perceptions.
Keywords: securities law, insider trading, telenovela, soap operas, ethnography
JEL Classification: K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation