From Media Systems to Media Cultures: Understanding Socialist Television

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 23, 2018 - Political Science
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In From Media Systems to Media Cultures: Understanding Socialist Television, Sabina Mihelj and Simon Huxtable delve into the fascinating world of television under communism, using it to test a new framework for comparative media analysis. To understand the societal consequences of mass communication, the authors argue that we need to move beyond the analysis of media systems, and instead focus on the role of the media in shaping cultural ideals and narratives, everyday practices and routines. Drawing on a wealth of original data derived from archival sources, programme and schedule analysis, and oral history interviews, the authors show how communist authorities managed to harness the power of television to shape new habits and rituals, yet failed to inspire a deeper belief in communist ideals. This book and their analysis contains important implications for the understanding of mass communication in non-democratic settings, and provides tools for the analysis of media cultures globally.

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Comparing Media Cultures
State Socialist Television in Historical Context
Television and Varieties of Modernity
Everyday Time
Extraordinary Time
Methodological Appendix

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About the author (2018)

Sabina Mihelj is Professor of Media and Cultural Analysis at the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture at Loughborough University. She has written extensively on issues of media and nationalism, comparative media research, television studies, Eastern and Central European media, and Cold War media and culture. Her books include Media Nations: Communicating Belonging and Exclusion in the Modern World (2011) and Central and Eastern European Media in Comparative Perspective: Politics, Economy and Culture (2012). Her research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Academy, and the Leverhulme Trust.

Simon Huxtable is a Visiting Fellow in Media and Cultural History at Loughborough University. His research focuses on the social and cultural history of late socialism. His research has been published in journals including Contemporary European History, Cahiers du Monde russe, and Media, Culture and Society and in a number of edited volumes. He is currently writing a monograph on the Soviet press and the public sphere after 1945, based on his doctoral research. His latest project focuses on the notion of the 'Socialist Way of Life' in the USSR and GDR.