The Great War and British broadcasting: emotional life in the creation of the BBC

Hendy, David (2014) The Great War and British broadcasting: emotional life in the creation of the BBC. New Formations, 82. pp. 82-99. ISSN 0950-2378

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This essay attempts to re-assess the early history of British broadcasting by drawing attention to the role of mood in shaping the lives and attitudes of the founding figures of the BBC in the interwar period. It argues that their direct experience of World War One triggered a pervasive 'sonic-mindedness', which involved not just a heightened sensitivity to noise but the cultivation of a more critical approach to listening. Other moods and emotions, such as a post-war veneration of home and a desire for social and personal stability, also reinforced the appeal of radio and so helped give a sense of purpose to those who helped found the BBC. The essay concludes that the BBC of the 1920s and 1930s might be thought of as a cultural institution shaped by 'systems of feeling' as much as by rational planning and coherent policy.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: interwar, BBC, broadcasting, radio, World War One, emotions, Lance Sieveking, John Reith, sound, noise, psychology, domesticity
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0511 Affection. Feeling. Emotion
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0621 Culture
Depositing User: David Hendy
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2014 13:55
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 05:53

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