Public service broadcasting and the emergence of LGBT+ visibility: A comparative perspective on Ireland and Flanders

Páraic Kerrigan, Florian Hendrik J Vanlee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Public Service Broadcasting in Europe and its centrality to cultural diversity has been established in relation to race, multiculturalism and gender, but LGBT+ sexual identity remains relatively absent from research. This article aims to address this gap by fostering a historical approach to examine the ways in which LGBT+ identities emerged on Public Service Broadcasting within Western Europe, specifically in Ireland and Flanders during the 1950s–1990s. Through a small-scale comparative case study analysis between these two regions, this article contends that the emergence of LGBT+ visibility is intrinsically linked to Public Service Broadcasting in both landscapes. Specifically, the article argues that this emergence shares two distinct structural qualities in the emergence of this LGBT+ visibility. First, the comparison points to the ways in which Public Service Broadcasting production cultures incorporated external expertise regarding LGBT+ diversity, presenting itself as a practical operationalisation of the social responsibility of publicly funded media in both regions. Second, later parallels in the introduction of LGBT+ characters to television fiction series illustrate how Public Service Broadcasting responded to various forms of competition from international and commercial broadcasters, engendering particular implications for the visibility of same-sex desire. While contributing to historical treatments of LGBT+ visibility familiar within Queer Media Studies, this article goes against the Anglo-American dominance of the field by examining more local contexts outside the US/UK centric paradigm, diversifying the contexts in which Queer Media Studies research takes place.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-200
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume25
Issue number1
Early online date15 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • LGBT+ representation
  • public service broadcasting
  • queer media
  • queer television studies
  • queer visibility

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