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National Mythologies in Central European TV Series

How J.R. won the Cold War

Jan Čulík is Senior Lecturer in Czech Studies at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of the first post-communist history of Czech independent literature and of monographs about Czech post communist feature film. The six contributors are specialists in the field of cultural studies, dealing with cinema and television broadcasting in Central and Eastern Europe. They work in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom.

This is the first ever international comparative study of the mythologies which popular TV series in Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania – made before and after the fall of communism – disseminate in their societies. Popular television broadcasting has had an enormous impact on the general public’s beliefs and values, East and West. From the outset, the communist systems of Central and East Europe used entertainment television programming to instil the regimes’ values in the viewer. And indeed popular television still exerts a major impact on these fairly homogeneous societies.

Up to date research about current social values and factors in the formation of individual and collective identity has considerable strategic importance for decision making both in Britain and in the EU. If we are to understand how the populations of the Central and East European countries might react in the current relatively unstable political and economic situation, it is necessary to understand the indigenous political, social and cultural discourse in these countries. Comparison of samples of popular television from the 1970s, 1980s and 2000s provides strategically significant material about how these societies think and rationalize, and what their thinking is rooted in. The study proceeds from the premise that popular television series provide a fertile ground of investigation as mass media reflects and shapes social and cultural values.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-596-0
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $69.95
Release Date: September 2013
Page Extent / Format: 224 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: Yes


List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgements

1 TV Serials and TV Series as Specific Representations of
Mimetic and Performative Impact
Petr A. Bílek

2 The Influence of Dallas on Central and East European TV Series: A Comparative Media Approach
Doru Pop

3 The Szabós and Szomszédok: Media Serials in Hungary During and After the Kádár Regime
Zsuzsanna Varga

4 The 30 Cases of Major Zeman: Domestication and Ideological Conversion of a James Bond Narrative in the
Czech TV Serial Context of the 1970s
Petr A. Bílek

5 Communist Myth in a Post-communist Serial
Piotr Zwierzchowski

6 Polish TV Serials: A World of Mythologized Images
Alicja Kisielewska

7 The Construction of Reality in Communist and Post-communist Czech TV Serials
Jan Čulík

The Contributors

Review Quotes to Follow

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