Wild dances and dying wolves: simulation, essentialization, and national identity at the Eurovision Song Contest

Baker, Catherine (2008) Wild dances and dying wolves: simulation, essentialization, and national identity at the Eurovision Song Contest. Popular Communication, 6, (3), 173-189. (doi:10.1080/15405700802198113).


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This paper examines Eurovision as a site for the public representation of the nation and explores the tendency towards simulation in such representations. The contest’s transnational audience and implication in commercial practices create pressures towards representing the nation through simplified, well-known images. A critique of globalization from south-east Europe argues that cultural production from marginalized countries which emphasizes local distinctiveness is a sign of structural inequality. This critique is tested against representational strategies from Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia. Eurovision is then related to tourism through an analysis of the representation of the Mediterranean in Eurovision performances, which reflect symbolic hierarchies constructed by travel writing since the Enlightenment. Finally, the paper considers the overarching representational power exerted by host states.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/15405700802198113
ISSNs: 1540-5702 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: eurovision song contest, popular music, folklore, national identity, croatia, bosnia-herzegovina, serbia, ukraine
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > Modern Languages
ePrint ID: 66292
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
July 2008Published
Date Deposited: 29 May 2009
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:52
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/66292

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