By Victoria E. Johnson
Winner of the 2009 Society for Cinema and Media stories Katherine Singer Kovacs booklet AwardThe Midwest of well known mind's eye is a "Heartland" characterised through conventional cultural values and mass marketplace tendencies. no matter if solid certainly —; as real, pastoral, populist, hardworking, and all-American—or negatively—as backward, narrow–minded, unsophisticated, conservative, and out-of-touch—the fable of the Heartland endures.Heartland television examines the centrality of this fantasy to television's merchandising and improvement, programming and advertising and marketing appeals, and public debates over the medium's and its audience's cultural worthy. Victoria E. Johnson investigates how the "square" photo of the heartland has been ritually recuperated on major time tv, from The Lawrence Welk convey within the Nineteen Fifties, to documentary specials within the Sixties, to The Mary Tyler Moore exhibit within the Nineteen Seventies, to Ellen within the Nineteen Nineties. She additionally examines information specials at the Oklahoma urban bombing to bare how that urban has been inscribed because the epitome of a undying, pastoral heartland, and concludes with an research of community branding practices and appeals to an imagined "red nation" audience.Johnson argues that non-white, queer, and concrete tradition is continually erased from depictions of the Midwest to be able to make stronger its "reassuring" photo as white and instantly. via analyses of coverage, discourse, and case reviews of particular exhibits, Heartland television exposes the cultural functionality of the Midwest as a domain of nationwide transference and disavowal with reference to race, sexuality, and citizenship beliefs.
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Additional resources for Heartland TV: Prime Time Television and the Struggle for U.S. Identity
S. social history. Each of these sites—in policy, strategic use of promotions and programming, and critical apprehensions of TV’s audience and purpose—represented a central matrix for working through the cultural and political worth of populist, midwestern values for the nation. Each explicitly emphasize, express, and engage the “Heartland” as a “keyword” that energized struggles over the text (whether it be policy, program, network branding appeal, star persona, presumed audience, or, generally, a combination of each of the above).
The history of broadcast networking and localism in the United States most typically has been told in one of two ways: either through analysis of broad macro-political institutional struggles (focusing on network development in technical, physical, infrastructural, and economic terms), or through analysis of cultural tensions at the level of everyday engagements with media (focusing on, for example, local resistance to network representation and battles over scheduling and sponsorship control).
6 This sense of entanglement is particularly signiﬁcant as regards the Midwest-as-Heartland, a geographic and perceptual region that, in a real historical sense, can physically and symbolically only be imagined through networked media. S. 7 This sense of the Midwest as comparatively settled was encouraged by the region’s increased centrality in transportation and commerce. With the expansion of railroads and telegraphy through the end of the nineteenth century, the northern channels of trade, which extended west from New York, and the southern channels of trade, which ﬂowed through the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, converged to complete the transformation of Chicago from “hinterland” outpost to critically central, national hub.
Heartland TV: Prime Time Television and the Struggle for U.S. Identity by Victoria E. Johnson