Representation of Regional Identity #2

Things to consider and look out for:

  • —Can I identify where the characters are from within the country?
  • —Are people from different areas shown as having different interests, personalities, attitudes, behaviours? If so, how?
  • —Is their regional identity represented as being important in their life?
  • —Are people from particular regions portrayed as being better, more powerful, than others?
  • —Are people from particular regions portrayed as being abnormal/weaker/more pathetic than others?
  • —How do other characters in the clip treat the characters from different regions?
  • —What is the message the clip is trying to portray about regional identity?

Key Theorists:

  • Benedict Anderson (1983) maintains that the media play a vital role in constructing a national/regional identity as in reality the nation is too big for everyone to know each other yet they often have shared values ; “The unification of people in the modern world is achieved not by military but by cultural means, in particular the media system enables people (of a nation or region) to feel part of a coherent, meaningful and homogenous community.”
  • Andrew Higson (1998) writes; “Identity is generally understood to be the shared identity of naturalized inhabitants of a particular political-geographic space – this can be a particular nation or region.”
  • Higson (1998) claims that many TV dramas (such as Eastenders, Corrie etc) demonstrate the importance of community and patriarchal values; “Social and cultural differences seem less significant when shared. The common purpose pulls the individual characters of the drama together, forges them into an organic, self-functioning community and ensures that each person has a clear role in the community. This small, self-contained functional community can then be read as standing for the nation, which is thereby imagined as a consensual gathering together of the diverse interests of individuals who make up that community.”

 

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