Talking of the Royal Family
The public seem to have an insatiable appetite for information about the Royal family. Every day the media carry news and pictures about the most famous family in the world. Yet social scientists have virtually ignored this strange mass obsession. Now, Michael Billig, a social psychologist, examines the significance of this interest in Royalty. He argues that the Royal family is a symbol of continuity in national consciousness. He supports this claim with analyses of 63 English families discussing the Royal family. As the families talk about Royalty, they are talking about much more: about gender, nationality, family life, the media, inequality, sex. Above all, they are talking about themselves. The book shows how this talk can be simultaneously serious and funny. There are jokes, criticism, praise and, above all, acceptance. Billig does much more than simply portray "attitudes" towards Royalty. He shows how our commonsense attitudes and ordinary desires are constructed. The book contributes new insights about ideology and popular memory.