A new life on the small screen and around it: The beginnings of television in socialist Yugoslavia (1955–1970)

  • Ildiko Erdei Department of Ethnology and Anthropology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
Keywords:
television, socialism, Yugoslavia, modernity, everyday life

Abstract

Ever since television became institutionalized in socialist Yugoslavia in the late 1950’s, it was closely associated with the idea of a „new life“ in socialist society. As a new technology, as a modern object in the socialist household, and as a medium which enabled the transmission of desirable content for creating socialist citizens and shaping models of socialist „culturality“ and entertainment, television represents a prime terrain for studying the transformations of culture and society in the latter half of the 20th century in Yugoslavia, as well as in the rest of Europe and the world. The paper is mostly based a number of key sources, memoirs, which speak of the history of television in Yugoslavia from the point of view of creators and a wider circle of experts who were involved in it. In this paper I will attempt to shed some light on the dynamics of the process of introducing television into Yugoslavian society, the perplexities, confusions and tensions which this new technology – simultaneously the product and the mediator of modernity – brought with it. Special attention is given to the relationship between television as technology and television as a medium of mass communication, which permanently marked the beginnings of television in Yugoslavia with the tension between „tech“ and „programming“, as well as to the role of television in everyday life.

References

Appadurai, Arjun. 1996. Modernity at Large. Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. University of Minnesota Press.
Dobrivojević, Ivana. 2015. „Industrijalizacija“. U Nikad im bolje nije bilo? Modernizacija svakodnevnog života u socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji. Beograd: MIJ.
Dragićević-Šešić, Milena. 2007. „Privatni život u vremenu televizije“. U Privatni život kod Srba u dvadesetom veku, Milan Ristović (pr.), 733-767. Beograd: Klio.
Duda, Igor. 2015. „Uređenje stan“. U Nikad im bolje nije bilo? Modernizacija svakodnevnog života u socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji, 48-49. Beograd: MIJ.
Erdei, Ildiko. 2015. „Kombinovana soba“, U Made in YU. 2015, Tanja Petrović, Jernej Mlekuž (ur.). Ljubljana: ZRC (u štampi).
Mihelj, Sabina. 2012. „Television Entertainment in Socialist Eastern Europe: Between Cold War Politics and Global Developments“. U Popular Television in Eastern Europe During and Since Socialism, Anikó Imre, Timothy Havens and Kati Lustyk (eds.). London: Routledge.
Popović, Vasilije et al. 1984. Iz istorije Televizije Beograd. Beograd: Televizija Beograd.
Silverstone, Roger. 1994. Television and Everyday Life. London: Routledge.

Navedena
Downey, John & Sabina Mihelj (eds). 2012. Central and Eastern European Media in Comparative Perspective: Politics, Economy Culture. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Gumbert L., Heather. 2014. Envisioning Socialism. Television and the Cold War in the German Democratic Republic. University of Michigan Press.
Imre, Aniko. 2014. Postcolonial Media Studies in Postsocialist Europe. Boundary 2: an international journal of literature and culture 41 (1): 113-134.
Imre, Anikó. Timothy Havens and Kati Lustyk (eds.). 2012. Popular Television in Eastern Europe During and Since Socialism. London: Routledge.
Huxtable, Simon. 2014. The Problem of Personality on the Soviet Screen, 1950s-1960s. VIEW: Journal of European Television History and Culture 3(5): 119-130.
Huxtable, Simon. 2013. In search of the Soviet reader: the Kosygin reforms, sociology, and changing concepts of Soviet society, 1964-1970. Cahiers du monde russe 54 (3-4): 623-642.
Mihelj, Sabina. 2014. Understanding Socialist Television: Concepts, Objects, Methods. VIEW: Journal of European Television History and Culture 3 (5): 7-16.
Mihelj, Sabina. 2013. „The Politics of Privatization: Television Entertainment and the Yugoslav Sixties“. In The Socialist Sixties: The Global Movement in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Cuba, Anne Gorsuch and Diane Koenker (eds.). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Published
2016-02-28
How to Cite
Erdei, I. (2016). A new life on the small screen and around it: The beginnings of television in socialist Yugoslavia (1955–1970). Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology, 10(2), 405-426. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v10i2.6

Most read articles by the same author(s)