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  • Acknowledgments  vii

    Introduction. Why Do We Need to Talk about Socialism and TV?  1

    Part I. Genres of Realism and Reality

    1. From Socialist Realism to Emotional Realism  27

    2. Tele-education  40

    3. Crime Appeal  66

    4. The Great Socialist Game (Show)  83

    5. Postsocialist Ethno-Racial Reality TV  108

    Part II. Genres of History

    6. The Historical Adventure Drama  133

    7. Postsocialist Nostalgia and European Historical Drama  155

    8. Commercials as Time-Space Machines  173

    Part III. Genres of Fiction

    9. Women and TV  187

    10. Socialist Soaps  199

    Part IV. Genres of Humor

    11. Socialist Comedy  227

    12. (Post)socialist Political Satire  242

    Afterword. Afterward  257

    Notes  261

    Bibliography  299

    Index  311
  • "TV Socialism is a must read for any scholars of television history, historians of socialist everyday life, those interested in memory and students exploring socialist history. Imre provides invaluable insights and poses bold questions that will stimulate debates on socialist television for years to come."

    "... [Imre] has composed an engaging and path-breaking study offering further insight into the multiplicity of phenomena long obscured behind the notion of totalitarianism."

    "Anikó Imre has written a field-transforming book, with implications that reach far beyond television studies."

     

    "...TV Socialism has as much to offer scholars of post-socialism as scholars of state socialism itself. Imre’s insightful analyses of often-trivialized popular television genres offer novel perspectives on key themes in post-socialist media studies such as nostalgia and nationalism."

    "... this book reveals a treasure chest of televisual discourses neither positive nor negative but productively conflicting in many fascinating ways.... [W]ell worth reading and one hopes that she [Imre] is now busily engaged in the projected sequel she mentions in her conclusion."

    "TV Socialism is a timely and invaluable contribution to the history of everyday life in socialist Eastern Europe that poses an authoritative challenge to the standard and rigid interpretations of socialist media. "

    "Apart from contributing to the still ongoing process of laying the foundation of the socialist television studies, TV Socialism is also a profoundly personal and exceptionally scholarly work, which challenges established views and places this emerging field on stable ground, providing it with a solid theoretical fabric and revealing different connections in time and space. Last but not least, its great merit is that it manages to escape the Europocentric perspective, which inevitably colours the work of so many scholars from European academic hubs."

    Reviews

  • "TV Socialism is a must read for any scholars of television history, historians of socialist everyday life, those interested in memory and students exploring socialist history. Imre provides invaluable insights and poses bold questions that will stimulate debates on socialist television for years to come."

    "... [Imre] has composed an engaging and path-breaking study offering further insight into the multiplicity of phenomena long obscured behind the notion of totalitarianism."

    "Anikó Imre has written a field-transforming book, with implications that reach far beyond television studies."

     

    "...TV Socialism has as much to offer scholars of post-socialism as scholars of state socialism itself. Imre’s insightful analyses of often-trivialized popular television genres offer novel perspectives on key themes in post-socialist media studies such as nostalgia and nationalism."

    "... this book reveals a treasure chest of televisual discourses neither positive nor negative but productively conflicting in many fascinating ways.... [W]ell worth reading and one hopes that she [Imre] is now busily engaged in the projected sequel she mentions in her conclusion."

    "TV Socialism is a timely and invaluable contribution to the history of everyday life in socialist Eastern Europe that poses an authoritative challenge to the standard and rigid interpretations of socialist media. "

    "Apart from contributing to the still ongoing process of laying the foundation of the socialist television studies, TV Socialism is also a profoundly personal and exceptionally scholarly work, which challenges established views and places this emerging field on stable ground, providing it with a solid theoretical fabric and revealing different connections in time and space. Last but not least, its great merit is that it manages to escape the Europocentric perspective, which inevitably colours the work of so many scholars from European academic hubs."

  • TV Socialism is a comprehensive and highly original contribution to television studies, and it will become indispensable in socialist/postsocialist studies. Anikó Imre’s scholarship is superior and her book is outstanding in its breadth and depth of coverage.” — Kristen Ghodsee, author of The Left Side of History: World War II and the Unfulfilled Promise of Communism in Eastern Europe

    "Cautioning us against simplistic uses of Anglo-American categories of television genres, Anikó Imre explains how the industry definitions of genre and audience expectations of genres evolved very differently in socialist societies. By defining genre as a 'transcultural form of expression' rather than as a given set of conventions, Imre demonstrates how the genric logic of television is embedded in the aesthetic, political, cultural, and ideological transformations in socialist and postsocialist societies." — Shanti Kumar, author of Gandhi Meets Primetime: Globalization and Nationalism in Indian Television

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  • Description

    In TV Socialism, Anikó Imre provides an innovative history of television in socialist Europe during and after the Cold War. Rather than uniform propaganda programming, Imre finds rich evidence of hybrid aesthetic and economic practices, including frequent exchanges within the region and with Western media, a steady production of varied genre entertainment, elements of European public service broadcasting, and transcultural, multi-lingual reception practices. These televisual practices challenge conventional understandings of culture under socialism, divisions between East and West, and the divide between socialism and postsocialism. Taking a broad regional perspective encompassing Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Imre foregrounds continuities between socialist television and the region’s shared imperial histories, including the programming trends, distribution patterns, and reception practices that extended into postsocialism. Television, she argues, is key to understanding European socialist cultures and to making sense of developments after the end of the Cold War and the enduring global legacy of socialism.

    About The Author(s)

    Anikó Imre is Associate Professor and Chair of Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Identity Games: Globalization and the Transformation of Media Cultures in the New Europe.
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