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date: 14 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article builds on the assumption that studying television cultures under socialism thoroughly muddles the Cold War framework of two opposing, radically different world systems. The article examines features of socialist television in the Soviet Union and the former Eastern Bloc in order to revisit some of the valuable experiences of socialism that were automatically relegated to the dustbin of history in 1990. It shows how television recorded, reflected, and facilitated the shared experience of socialism’s complicated temporality and helped make socialism manageable, redirecting its high ideals into the ethical principles of everyday habits. The article demonstrates how these principles worked through some exemplary program types and how they got stripped of their collective dimensions after the end of socialism, to be infused with paranoid, anxious nationalism.

Keywords: socialism, Eastern Europe, television, education, temporality, nostalgia

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