Whose “Cousin from the Countryside”? Ideological Reading of a Media Text Cover Image

Чији „Рођак са села“? Идеолошко читање једног медијског текста
Whose “Cousin from the Countryside”? Ideological Reading of a Media Text

Author(s): Tijana Cvjetićanin
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Етнографски институт САНУ
Keywords: media text; ideology; ethnonationalism; identity; transition

Summary/Abstract: In this paper, I analyze ideological patterns of TV show „My cousin from the countryside“, which aired on Serbian national television at the end of 2008, achieving great success and enormous ratings. Produced by, broadcasted and marketed on national television – in Althusserian sense, an ideological state apparatus par excellence – this media text, its creation and reception, make an excellent “case-study” of ideological streamings and confrontations in contemporary Serbia’s media sphere. Defined mainly through conflicts of two opposing (and of ten confusingly intervo wen) paradigms – that of militant nationalism and that of euro-integrations – the public sphere opens a space for ideological battles of opposing sides which struggle to gain privileged positions in cultural conceptions of contemporary socio-political situation. Transitional circumstances define main points of those conflicts; as seen in the analysis, ethno-national narratives strive to make definite judgements on such relevant topics as Serbia’s relation to its recent militant past (with emphasis on responsibility for war crimes), and its relationship with the West/Europe. This show re pre sents such a nar ra ti ve, gro un ded in et hno-na ti o na li stic „identity pro ject“. Cre a ting an ima ge of tran si ti o nal Ser bia in ac cor dan ce to cul tu ral visi ons and symbo lics of na ti o na li stic ima gery, it aims to pa int a pic tu re of Ser bian iden tity as seen thro ugh na ti o na list ide o lo gi cal lens. Sig ni fi cant re spon se from the audi en ce shows that this kind of cul tu ral re pre sen ta tion suc ce eds in this in ten tion – ap pe al ling to the spre a ded vi ews of Ser bian na tion and sta te as vic tims of unjust per se cu tion of the ho sti le out si de (We stern) world, it of fers its audi en ce a mi sle a - ding, yet comforting, symbolic resolution of painful issues connected to recent history and its consequences.

  • Issue Year: LVIII/2010
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 57-67
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Serbian