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Reconstructing Flanders. The representation of the nation in Flemish period drama

To study the possible role of Flemish period drama in the formation of national identity, this article primarily analyses its textual representations. A qualitative content analysis of all period serials discloses a clear discourse about Flanders. Mostly based on literary sources, these serials portray the poor, rural Flanders of the early 20th century. They reconstruct a particular phase in Flemish history, focusing on folkloric culture, and they are peopled by strongly typed working-class characters speaking a dialectic language. Thus, on all accounts period drama presents homogeneous images constructing a clear discourse about Flanders. This discourse was created within the production context of the monopolistic public broadcasting system, which deliberately aimed at stimulating Flemish culture. The serials were lauded for their `realism` and `recognisability', which confirms the credibility of their image of the nation. While their influence remains to be researched, our textual analysis shows that period serials supplied strong images for the construction of a Flemish identity. Keywords: Flanders, national identity, textual representations, culture, qualitative context analysis Over the past decades, European politics has taken an interest in the threat of imported American film and television drama to European cultural identities. The fear of `Americanization' has led to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Communication & Medicine de Gruyter

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