Television and Political Communication in the Late Soviet Union

Lexington Books (Verlag)
  • erscheint ca. am 1. Mai 2020
  • Buch
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  • Hardcover
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  • 314 Seiten
978-1-4985-2688-3 (ISBN)
This study focuses on Soviet television audiences and examines their watching habits and the way they made use of television programs. Kirsten Boenker challenges the common misconception that viewers perceived Soviet television programming and entertainment culture as dull and formulaic. This study draws extensively on archival sources and oral history interviews to analyze how Soviet television involved audiences in political communication and how it addressed audiences' emotional commitments to Soviet values and the Soviet way of life. Boenker argues that the Brezhnev era influenced political stability and brought an unprecedented rise of the living standards, creating new meanings for consumerism, the idea of the "home," and private life among Soviet citizens. Exploring the concept of emotional bonding, this study engages broader discussions on the durability of the Soviet Union until perestroika.
  • Englisch
  • Lanham, MD
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  • USA
  • Fadenheftung
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  • Gewebe-Einband
6 Tables, unspecified; 9 Illustrations, black and white
  • Höhe: 229 mm
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  • Breite: 152 mm
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  • Dicke: 0 mm
978-1-4985-2688-3 (9781498526883)
Kirsten Boenker is visiting professor of East European history at the University of Goettingen and research fellow at the Gerda Henkel Foundation.
In this perceptive, deeply researched book, Kirsten Boenker weaves together archival sources and oral history interviews to provide a unique insight into the history of Soviet television, as seen and experienced by Soviet audiences. The decision to switch attention from issues of governance and control over television to questions of consumption of everyday life leads Boenker to complicate easy dichotomies between work and leisure, private and public, oppression and resistance. In her analysis, television emerges not only as a key ingredient of everyday life, but also as a medium that succeeded in sustaining an emotional commitment to a Soviet way of life, and thereby contributed to the longevity and stability of communist rule. A powerful testimony to the importance and benefits of audience history, Television and Political Communication in the Late Soviet Union promises to have decisive impact on our understanding of Soviet television, and of media cultures in state socialist countries more generally.--Sabina Mihelj, Loughborough University By focusing on the viewer experience, Kirsten Boenker fills an important gap in our understanding of the late Soviet public sphere and sheds interesting light on the relationship between authoritative discourse and popular mentalities. Her nuanced and deeply researched account challenges common assumptions about Soviet television, revealing it to have been--at least partially--a success story.--Stephen Lovell, King's College London Based on extraordinary research in the Soviet archives and on extensive interviews with Soviet television viewers themselves, this rich and compelling book lets us get to know Soviet television through the voices of Soviet people. We learn what it was like to bring home a first television set, arrange your home and daily routines around it, and experience the powerful feelings and identifications this new medium evoked. Kirsten Boenker's incisive and original account demonstrates decisively that the experience of watching Soviet TV was not reducible to the black and white of conformity and dissent, and that the emotional ties Soviet TV fostered continue to shape post-Soviet Russian cultural and political life.--Christine E. Evans, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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