Communication. Society and Politics

From Media Systems to Media Cultures: Understanding Socialist Television

by Sabina Mihelj & Simon Huxtable (2018)

- Communism and mass media.
- Mass media — Political aspects.
- Mass media — Economic aspects.
- Mass media and culture.

In From Media Systems to Media Cultures: Understanding Socialist Television, Sabina Mihelj and Simon Huxtable delve in to 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 in stead 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 in spire 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.

1. Introduction
2. Media cultures
3. Historical context
4. Varieties of modernity
5. Publications
6. Privacy
7. Transnationalism
8. Everyday time
9. History
10. Extraordinary time
11. Conclusion.

Wenn der Willi mit der Maja …

12. Februar 2019 von Martin Benninghoff |

- 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 in clude 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 in cluding 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 ocialist Way of Life' in the USSR and GDR.



‘From Media Systems to Media Cultures is a wonderful contribution to comparative media studies. It theorizes the complex and little-known world of state socialist television, and provides a compelling example of what it means to compare media cultures, and how this is related to the study of media systems.'
- Daniel C. Hallin - University of California, San Diego

‘This ambitious volume performs exemplary comparative research on socialist television, shifting the emphasis from media systems to media cultures. This book makes a major contribution to the study of mass communication under authoritarian rule and is a significant intervention in global communication and media research.'
- Aniko Imre - author of TV Socialism

‘This book fruitfully uses the state socialist TV landscape to reset our notions of media culture across diverse national contexts. Refracting the idea of comparative media through the gaze of entangled modernities, it complicates existing understandings of Cold War TV and recasts it interms more consonant with culture. A creative and generative study that promises to have decisive impact on how we think about comparative media research.'
- Barbie Zelizer - Raymond Williams Professor of Communication, University of Pennsylvania

‘In this pioneering, deeply researched and remarkably wide-ranging study, Mihelj and Huxtable have brought the in sights of media studies to bear on the history of socialist television. They are sensitive to cultural particularities but always alive to comparisons and connections, both between in dividual socialist countries and between socialist 'East' and liberal democratic 'West'. Historians and theorists of Western media will have much to learn from this book as they reflect on their own fields.'
- Stephen Lovell - King's College London


Mihelj, Sabina / Huxtable, Simon [1980-]
From Media Systems to Media Cultures: Understanding Socialist Television.
Cambridge, UK / New York, NY / Melbourne, New Delhi / Singapore: University of Cambridge Press, 2018, xiv, 369 p., ill., 24 cm.
(Communication, Society and Politics.).
ISBN 9781108422604 (hb., GBP 90,00)
ISBN 9781108574785 (eb., $96,00)
[Bibl. refs.]