Culture, Communication, and National Identity: The Case of Canadian Television

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 1990 - History - 367 pages
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?There can be no political sovereignty without culture sovereignty.? So argued the CBC in 1985 in its evidence to the Caplan/Sauvageau Task Force on Broadcasting Policy. Richard Collins challenges this assumption. He argues in this study of nationalism and Canadian television policy that Canada?s political sovereignty depends much less on Canadian content in television than has generally been accepted. His analysis focuses on television drama, at the centre of television policy in the 1980s.

Collins questions the conventional image of Canada as a weak national entity undermined by its population?s predilection for foreign television. Rather, he argues, Canada is held together, not by a shared repertoire of symbols, a national culture, but by other social forces, notably political institutions.

Collins maintains that important advantages actually and potentially flow from Canada?s wear national symbolic culture. Rethinking the relationships between television and society in Canada may yield a more successful broadcasting policy, more popular television programming, and a better understanding of the links between culture and the body politic.

As the European Community moves closer to political unity, the Canadian case may become more relevant to Europe, which, Collins suggests, already fears the ?Canadianization? of its television. He maintains that a European multilingual society, without a shared culture or common European audio-visual sphere and with viewers watching foreign television, can survive successfully as a political entity ? just as Canada has.

  

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Contents

Introduction
3
Structure and Historical Development of Canadian Television
42
Broadcasting Act to CaplanSauvageau
66
Nationalism
105
The Market Paradigm
141
Dependency Theory and Television in Canada
160
The Intellectuals Television and the Two Solitudes
190
The Television Audience
228
National Culture or Where Is Here?
250
La misere canadienne
277
Conclusion
327
REFERENCES
345
INDEX
359
Copyright

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About the author (1990)

Richard Collins is a member of the Department of Communication Studeies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

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