Chapter

In the Absence of Television

in Starring Mandela and Cosby

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780226451886
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226451909 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226451909.003.0003
In the Absence of Television

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This chapter briefly sketches the mediascape of South Africa prior to the first fence post—television's introduction. By examining the positions of political parties and the resistance movements regarding television, it shows how Afrikaner political identifications imbued television with qualities that enforced its structured absence and perpetuated a separation of nearly all aspects of life between Black and White South Africans. While this absence was an explicit attempt on the part of the apartheid regime to resist transnational media flows—particularly representations of the civil rights movement in the United States—the denial of television exacerbated many White South Africans' sense of exclusion from the international community. The chapter also includes an overview of other forms of media in South Africa at the time and an analysis of why the apartheid regime finally allowed television to enter the country.

Keywords: South Africa; mediascape; television; political parties; Afrikaner; political identification; White South Africans; apartheid; civil rights movement

Chapter.  7191 words. 

Subjects: African Studies

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