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Do You Have a TV?: Negotiating Swedish Public Service through 1950's Programming, "Americanization," and Domesticity
Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för mediestudier.
2018 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, monografi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation presents a cultural history of early Swedish television. The focus is on the investigation of 1950s programming, intermedial connections, processes of “Americanization,” and domestic, socio-cultural change in direct relation to the new medium. By using a wide range of sources—archival materials, official records, newspaper articles, advertisements, and more—the dissertation examines discourses on how television was experienced during its installation years in Swedish homes, as well as how U.S. television contents were perceived and came to be a sizeable part of early Swedish television. This thesis thereby endeavors to contribute to a wider, transnational framing of Swedish television history.  

The first chapter examines the scheduling practices and ideas of television programming in the 1950s. The engagement is with notions of medium specificity and intermedial connections between television, radio and film. The chapter further provides a background to how principles for programming were discussed before the televisual start and during the medium’s first years of operation in Sweden. 

The second chapter offers a case study of television program schedules between 1956 and 1959. It addresses the kind of programs, or categories, the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation invested in; patterns in the daily, weekly and seasonal schedule; increase in broadcasting hours; and prominent countries within the international television material. The case study primarily displays a hitherto largely overlooked influence that came from the U.S. and its commercial television program model.

The third chapter discusses various forms of American influences on early Swedish television. A recurring cause of concern in Swedish media in the 1950s was that the Swedish public service television could be, and at times was, associated with “Americanization” and commercial popular culture at large. However, instead of defining Swedish public service television in contrast to the U.S. commercial television model, this dissertation argues that the formative years of Swedish television, in various ways, was a convergence of the British public service model and of U.S. program techniques, ideas and formats. 

Lastly, the forth chapter deals with the cultural changes that resulted from television’s incursion into private homes and living rooms. The chapter examines the television set as a new furniture, within a broader framework of the “people’s home” and the functionalistic ideals of the 1950s. It further addresses how the new medium was marketed to the public, and states that the excitement for television segued to a variety of product advertisements that used the new media as a promoter for an array of commodities.

The study concludes that programs, formats, and ideas from the U.S., and not—as one might have thought—the UK, constituted the largest number of imported materials on Swedish television during the 1950s. Swedish public service television thus made use of transnational flows from U.S. commercial television networks right from the start, while simultaneously discursively distancing itself from this model of television. Furthermore, the dissertation shows that these programs and formats were pivotal for rapidly turning television into a popular media of entertainment, and a soon-to-be-natural part of the Swedish domestic setting in the 1950s. 

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Stockholm: Department of Media Studies, Stockholm University , 2018. , s. 317
Nyckelord [en]
television history, cultural history, public service, 1950s, television programming, intermediality, simulcast, program format, transnational, Americanization, domesticity, television set as furniture, everyday life
Nationell ämneskategori
Övrig annan humaniora
Forskningsämne
filmvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157500ISBN: 978-91-7797-318-8 (tryckt)ISBN: 978-91-7797-319-5 (digital)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157500DiVA, id: diva2:1221669
Disputation
2018-09-07, föreläsningssalen, Filmhuset, Borgvägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (Svenska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2018-08-15 Skapad: 2018-06-20 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-08-14Bibliografiskt granskad

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