Back Shahinaz El Samadoni and Marta Lopera successfully defended their doctoral thesis obtaining cum laude

Shahinaz El Samadoni and Marta Lopera successfully defended their doctoral thesis obtaining cum laude

Two members of the CAS research group have become PhDs this December, both theses directed by Dr. Monika Jiménez Morales


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Shahinaz El Samadoni has defended her thesis entitled "Commodification of Celebrity Endorsement to Humanitarian Sentiments: A Case Study of Africa." The thesis examines whether celebrities can attract and amplify media attention to humanitarian issues and whether viewers identify with the feelings of celebrities rather than the suffering surrounding them. The doctoral candidate also asks whether media content focuses on fame or the humanitarian cause and analyzes where the power of stars lies.

To answer her research questions, El Samadoni has chosen to triangulate methods: a verbal and visual content analysis of media coverage of celebrities who are ambassadors for charitable causes, online surveys to understand public perception, and in-depth interviews with experts in the field. Among other findings, El Samadoni highlighted that the most frequent voice in these media coverages is those of Western celebrities, validating their role and positioning them as main social actors. 

Marta Lopera Mármol defended her thesis entitled "The Representation and Reception of Mental and Neurological Disorders in British-US Coming-of-Age Dramedy TV Series," co-directed by Dr. Manel Jiménez-Morales. In it, Lopera analyzes the representation and reception of neurological and mental disorders in British and American series.

The researcher has applied different methodologies, such as a semiotic and hermeneutic approach to examine the representation of biomedical aspects of these disorders, a content analysis of the role played by aesthetics in marking diseases, and a digital ethnography of fan communities on Twitter and Facebook of these audiovisual products. The research results have shown that, despite a significant increase in the presence of neurological and mental disorders in audiovisual productions in the last two decades and an effort to present them in a non-stigmatizing way, there are still biases and framing that lead to stigma, especially if factors such as gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation are taken into account.

Remarkably, both have made recommendations for professionals, each in its field of study, to improve the situation in media journalism and audiovisual productions. 

Both studies have been highlighted for their scientific rigor and consistency in addressing complex and necessary issues. Both doctoral students have received excellent cum laude.

The entire research group congratulates the recent doctoral students and their thesis director.



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