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Stories of OprahThe Oprahfication of American Culture$
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Trystan T. Cotten and Kimberly Springer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781604734072

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604734072.001.0001

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Oprah’s Message Boards, Soul Stories, and the Everyday Lives of Women

(p.51) 4 Chapter Four Post[ed]structuralism?
Stories of Oprah

Sherra Schick

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter, which examines the kind of online community that is created by and for The Oprah Winfrey Show viewers, shows that on Oprah.com, Winfrey’s mission is at the center of the topics presented for discussion on her message boards. But similar to the existing literature’s argument for Oprah’s Book Club as politicizing, Oprah.com message board users claim agency for themselves and talk back to Oprah’s experts. Often they ignore the experts who are purported to know best about their lives. This may be the unexpected side effect of a genre (the talk show) that sought to establish all personal experience and opinion as valid. Regardless, even in privileging their experience, Oprah. com message board participants create their own meaning but only do so once that experience is filtered through Oprah-approved ideological constructs.

Keywords:   Oprah Winfrey, message boards, online community, Oprah.com

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