The Nation in the News: Managing National identity in the Austrian Press

Sidsel Grøn Fabech

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch


    In my paper media texts are analysed in order to find places in everyday discourse, where identity constructions are constructed and contested. I explore the role that old and new media play in the construction and distribution of national identity constructions. Media like television, newspaper and newsmagazines have long been said to hold the power to define and represent national culture and identity. With the increasing globalization of cultures and the following need to redefine and negotiate national identity, the function of media as carrier and creator of identity seems to be reinforced.
    It is my aim to discuss how news media establish themselves as representatives of a certain national identity and narrative and are positioned in the national media landscape according to this. This paper raises the questions: Do national identity constructions need their “own” national media in order to settle and gain importance? And how do rather stable and traditional identity landscapes react to the new media? What possibilities do new media bring for especially alternative identity constructions?
    To answer these questions I focus on Austrian national identity. Due to the cultural and political metamorphosis which this nation has undergone this last century, it compresses the cultural history of Europe and therefore makes a relevant case study. In this single case one encounters processes of cultural change ranging from the multiculturalism of the imperial Austria to the “germanization” of the National Socialism and now finally the migration processes of the globalization. Drawing on this history I aim to show that today’s rivalry between contesting national Austrian identities is often rooted in the question of how to manage media narratives about the nation’s past as well as its future role in a globalized world.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2007
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    Event1st Global Conference: Multiculturalim, Conflict & Belonging, Mansfield College - Oxford, United Kingdom
    Duration: 3 Sept 20076 Sept 2007
    Conference number: 1


    Conference1st Global Conference: Multiculturalim, Conflict & Belonging, Mansfield College
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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