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Sitcom Audiences and the Sixties Cultural Revolution
Christina von Hodenberg
342 pages, 19 illus., 4 tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-699-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (July 2015)
ISBN 978-1-78533-505-1 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (April 2017)
eISBN 978-1-78238-700-8 eBook
“Television scholars of all stripes will find much that is interesting in this book. Hodenberg blends thorough industrial history, textual analysis, and audience research in her examination of three iterations of a single television show…This book operates at the methodological intersection of cultural studies, social science, and television history, and the research is the better for it. This is a thoughtful work of television scholarship written in an accessible style…Highly recommended.” · Choice
“Christina von Hodenberg succeeded in writing a study that is not only convincing and interesting substantially and methodically but also very readable not least because she arrives at clear and in some cases also provocative judgments. Her work makes very clear once again the value of comparative studies. Finally, her work shows to what extent it is possible and necessary to combine media history with overarching questions of social and cultural history and to answer the question of the effects of the media wisely and convincingly.” · H-Soz-Kult
“…a monograph that is just as innovative as it is enjoyable..'Christina von Hodenberg has written an original and important book which can in no way be avoided by all those studying the history of the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the contemporary history of the media. In the course of her investigation she disproves numerous established narratives.” · Sehepunkte
“…there is a rich mine of information and ideas contained in this book…[It] offers a fascinating insight into a particular moment in television history, an era when public service and the networks dominated….what I truly valued was the story of a travelling narrative, from the UK to West Germany via the US.” · Janet McCabe, University of London
“… A very interesting analysis of how sitcoms negotiated the ‘culture wars,’ paying particular attention to discussions of gender, race, and sexuality. Particularly effective here is the ability to set the text—the sitcom—into the larger context of politics, culture, and society in the three national cases the author compares… The book makes an important methodological contribution … it will make a splash with historians … and students of film and media studies.” · Robert Moeller, University of California, Irvine
Television was one of the forces shaping the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, when a blockbuster TV series could reach up to a third of a country’s population. This book explores television’s impact on social change by comparing three sitcoms and their audiences. The shows in focus – Till Death Us Do Part in Britain, All in the Family in the United States, and One Heart and One Soul in West Germany – centered on a bigoted anti-hero and his family. Between 1966 and 1979 they saturated popular culture, and managed to accelerate as well as deradicalize value changes and collective attitudes regarding gender roles, sexuality, religion, and race.
Christina von Hodenberg is Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London. She has taught at Berkeley and Freiburg and received a Humboldt Research Award in 2014. Her previous books include Konsens und Krise: Eine Geschichte der westdeutschen Medienöffentlichkeit, 1945 bis 1973 (Wallstein 2006) and Wo ‘1968’ liegt: Reform und Revolte in der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik (co-edited with Detlef Siegfried, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2006).