Cultural governance and the formation of public service broadcasting: The early years.

BAILEY, Michael George William. (2004). Cultural governance and the formation of public service broadcasting: The early years. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

A defining characteristic of many previous broadcasting histories is their tendency to present a liberal interpretation of broadcasting. This is particularly so in relation to the BBC, which is commonly perceived as an exemplary public institution whose principal role is essentially a democratising one, contributing to the on-going cumulative empowerment of the people. A further aspect of this liberalist narrative is that broadcasting becomes increasingly free of state interference and politically independent, thus making government and politicians more accountable to the public. Whilst there is evidence to support this type of analysis, what it has resulted in is an overly-idealised historiography of public service broadcasting that is complicit with the ideological framework of a liberal democratic polity, and thus fails to recognise modern relations of culture and government, relations that are inextricably intertwined with the exercise of power. Drawing on the work of Foucault, governmentalist studies, and extended analysis of BBC archives, I argue instead that the BBC and its public service ethos is better reconsidered as a civilising mission whose political rationality was to render the listening public more amenable to cultural governance. Understood thus, early broadcasting can be seen to function as a political technology that facilitated governance from a distance, thus overcoming the paradoxical concern of liberal governmentality, the danger of 'over-governing'. More specifically, I mean to demonstrate that the emergence and subsequent development of broadcasting can be understood as a response to the early twentieth century problems: of efficient state building, ensuring the nation's physical and moral well-being, and remedying the varying inter-war periods of crises in cultural hegemony. As such, early broadcasting was an amalgam of secular cultural governance, Christian pastoral pedagogy, and the exercise of what Foucault famously referred to as 'bio-power', particularly the bio-politics of welfare and social policy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2004.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:18
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:18
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19303

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