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Broadcasting and National Imagination in Post-Communist Latvia

Defining the Nation, Defining Public Television

This book uses the case study of public television in post-communist Latvia to explore the question of how audiences respond to TV offerings, and how their choices can be seen as an act of agency. Jānis Juzefovičs builds his book around Albert O. Hirschman’s classic concepts of exit, voice, and loyalty—the options available to a person within any system. He uses Hirschman’s ideas, along with tools from social constructionism, to assess how the publics of both the Latvian-speaking majority and the large Russian-speaking minority have responded to the role of public television in the nation-building efforts of the new Latvian state. Along the way, he develops our understanding of public broadcasting more generally, and the way it can be used to define a national 'we'.

172 pages | 7 x 9 | © 2017

Media Studies

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"Jānis Juzefovičs’ monograph provides detailed insight into the media and TV viewing habits of ethnic Latvians and Russian speakers in Latvia. Juzefovičs’s research angle and his methods allow him to go beyond generalised attributions and positions. . . . This is an important book not only for scholars interested in media habits and public television but also for those who would like to understand the diversity of Latvia’s population."

Katja Wezel, Slavic Review

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii
Introduction 1
Chapter 1: Broadcasting and the Construction of National ‘We’ 17
Chapter 2: (Not) At Home: Public TV and Its Publics of the Ethno-linguistic Majority and Minority 41
Chapter 3: Television News Preferences and a Sense of Belonging: The Case of Panorama and Vremya 61
Chapter 4: Celebrating the Arrival of New Year Twice: Public TV and National Celebrations 89
Chapter 5: Popular Culture Bringing the Nation Together: The Case of Live Sports Broadcasts and the Eurovision Song Contest 115
Conclusion 131
Appendix 139
References 145
Index 157

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