Audiovisual Media and Identity Issues in Southeastern Europe
The edited volume Audiovisual Media and Identity Issues in Southeastern Europe is an attempt to meet the challenges of text-based scholarship, to break medial one-dimensionality dictated by textuality and to shift the focus to the aural and visual dimensions of identity in a part of Europe heavily marked by the dynamics of political, cultural and social change, particularly during the last decades. The objective of this endeavour is to examine identity in Southeastern Europe by means of its communication media, specifically that of the photographic image and the sound recording.How are identities communicated? How are they performed and made physically perceptible? Brought to a point, the primary issue is one of how people perceive themselves and their environment on the basis of communication media, seen through a lens of different disciplines (social anthropology, ethnomusicology, media studies, sociology and history) and methodologies from the point of view of scholars from Southeastern Europe and their Western European colleagues. The book pursues a distinct comparative and historical perspective, examining the media representations from socialist and pre-socialist periods in relation to the role media play in the postsocialist discourse. Another focus is laid on local media representations and their impact on local self-images. This distinct historical and local approach allows new insights into how identities are constructed, performed and negotiated in the light of media, resulting in different forms of interpreting, re-appropriating and re-evaluting the past and traditions. This opens up questions on the role of media in relation to cultural policies and their potential to preserve or to transform local cultural heritage.The book is also an important contribution to the field of postsocialist studies in anthropology. It sheds a distinct cultural view on postsocialist transformation processes. Through a wide range of examples and first-hand results of basic field research from Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Albania and Slovenia this volume provides an opportunity for a comparative reconsideration of similar phenomena across national borders. It may serve also as a methodological reference work for scholars who are interested in the different ways of how to develop and practice ",media reflexivity", in their own field research.
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