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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), pp. 173-189.

Record type: Article


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.

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Published date: July 2008
Keywords: eurovision song contest, popular music, folklore, national identity, croatia, bosnia-herzegovina, serbia, ukraine


Local EPrints ID: 66292
ISSN: 1540-5702
PURE UUID: 00d4934e-44db-47e5-846d-5b17539281cf

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Date deposited: 29 May 2009
Last modified: 18 Oct 2017 13:33

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Author: Catherine Baker

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