The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922–53

Examining the ways in which the BBC constructed and disseminated British national identity during the second quarter of the twentieth century, this book focuses in a comprehensive way on how the BBC, through its radio programmes, tried to represent what it meant to be British. It offers a revision of histories of regional broadcasting in Britain that interpret it as a form of cultural imperialism. The regional organisation of the BBC, and the news and creative programming designed specifically for regional listeners, reinforced the cultural and historical distinctiveness of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The BBC anticipated, and perhaps encouraged, the development of the hybrid ‘dual identities’ characteristic of contemporary Britain.

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‘There are books that become the standard works in their fields for a generation or more. I would be very surprised if 'History on British Television' and 'the BBC and National Identity in Britain' do not establish themselves as “must-read” works.'
James Chapman, University of Leicester
Visual Culture in Britain (13)
January 2012

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