Television, memory and identity : an analysis of South African Youth and fictional programmes.
This study synthesises three conceptual areas-identity, fictional television programmes and memory to examine what young people remember about their fictional television viewing and how it impacts their identity. Memory is used as a window through which long-lasting identity influencers can be analysed; this takes the analysis beyond the level of 'effects' to a more contextualised view. Focus group research and a quantitative overview work to uncover which fictional programmes stand out in young people's memory and why. Research further interrogates what events, characters or story lines young people recall and why these elements are important. The answers to these two research questions crystallises the ways in which South African youths' memories of fictional programmes impact their identity formation. The hypothesis that young South Africans remember that which directly affirms or contradicts their lived experience, is found to be partially true. Similarly, the second hypothesis that fictional memories of South African 15- to 20-year-olds impact youth identity through a direct link between memory selection, interaction and application is found to be fractionally substantiated. The final conclusion of the study is that while memories of fictional programmes do impact the identity of young people, it must be viewed within the larger context of lived experience.