Sascha Trültzsch
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Reinhold Viehoff
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How the East German political system presented itself in television series
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This chapter examines how state television in the GDR used drama series to propagate the Party’s view of East German reality and, in particular, the Socialist ‘model family’. Using a series of case studies, it traces the evolution of the family drama series from the 1960s to the late 1980s, showing how the perspectives which they adopted developed in relation to changes in GDR policies and how their adherence to a strict set of socialist values gradually softened. As most East German citizens could also receive West German television, with which GDR television was effectively in competition, the authors argue that GDR drama series had no alternative but to embrace some elements of Western drama series in order to maintain their popular appeal. As a result, they argue, the ideological messages of such series were increasingly forced into the background.

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