"Dear Television Workers..." TV Consumption and Political Communication in the Late Soviet Union

Bönker K (2015)
Cahiers du Monde Russe 56(2-3): 371-+.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
In the 1970s, Soviet television was a key medium. This article asks to what extent it engaged its audience in political communication and emotional bonding. How did "ordinary" Soviet citizens make use of television programmes? Assuming that the television staff, the audience, and the regime engaged in a new field of communication, the article examines the specificity of audience letters sent to television's editorial departments. These letters allow us to probe television's capacity to trigger emotional commitment among viewers in its presentation of Soviet popular culture, societal values, and lifestyles. The article proposes that the majority of TV viewers emotionally accepted the Soviet lifestyle and the way television presented the Soviet way of life in entertainment programming. By steadily suggesting close contact with the audience, television positioned itself in the field of political communication not only as a medium of entertainment, but also as an agent of societal interests and improvements. Viewers responded to television as to an influential facilitator of politics and the new post-Stalinist consumerist lifestyle. Letters to Soviet TV suggest that TV consumption interconnected, diversified, and modified private and public communication after the late 1950s. The re-connecting of the private and public sphere seems to have triggered a positive emotional commitment among viewers towards the Soviet regime.
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Bönker K. "Dear Television Workers.." TV Consumption and Political Communication in the Late Soviet Union. Cahiers du Monde Russe. 2015;56(2-3):371-+.
Bönker, K. (2015). "Dear Television Workers.." TV Consumption and Political Communication in the Late Soviet Union. Cahiers du Monde Russe, 56(2-3), 371-+.
Bönker, K. (2015). "Dear Television Workers.." TV Consumption and Political Communication in the Late Soviet Union. Cahiers du Monde Russe 56, 371-+.
Bönker, K., 2015. "Dear Television Workers.." TV Consumption and Political Communication in the Late Soviet Union. Cahiers du Monde Russe, 56(2-3), p 371-+.
K. Bönker, “"Dear Television Workers.." TV Consumption and Political Communication in the Late Soviet Union”, Cahiers du Monde Russe, vol. 56, 2015, pp. 371-+.
Bönker, K.: "Dear Television Workers.." TV Consumption and Political Communication in the Late Soviet Union. Cahiers du Monde Russe. 56, 371-+ (2015).
Bönker, Kirsten. “"Dear Television Workers.." TV Consumption and Political Communication in the Late Soviet Union”. Cahiers du Monde Russe 56.2-3 (2015): 371-+.
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