Our focus will be on post-war children’s television and whether the state of the cultural and political landscape at the ending of the war became intertwined within these media texts and, if so, how. We will be looking at children’s television programmes on mainstream channels, particularly Kanal D. This channel presents itself online with an ethos that suggests it may be a Serbian version of the UK’s BBC network, in that its purpose is to inform, educate and entertain. Though the channel broadcasts a wide range of media (dramas, reality shows, news bulletins etc.), it has a window especially for its children’s programmes for various age groups. Our analysis will look at these shows and how they portray socio-political ideologies in their language, depictions and attitudes.
Our research will also extend towards other popular children’s and pre-teen shows from 2000 until date. Should there be a quantified way for the programme ratings to be seen and measured, our analysis will go into what the main themes of the most popular television shows might be indicative of in wider society in Serbia. After gaining some insight into these ideologies, we will try to mark out a timeline of significant shifts or changes in the socio-political perspectives and try to unpack the factors that caused these attitudes to shift.
By doing this research, we aim to find out how identity formation has changed with the most recent generations in Serbia by beginning at some of the first socialising tools – children’s television. We intend to find out what the major changes in experiences of growing up in Serbia today reflect about the cultural, social and political mind-set of the country now compared to older generations; and whether relations with other countries and other external influences have affected this since the ending of the war. From this, we mean how programmes have possibly been gendered towards certain audiences; whether McDonaldisation has been a process in the production of these media texts; and how the main themes in the stories of the programmes have been reprioritised.
In doing this research, we hope to be in contact with producers of television programmes and interview willing participants of their opinions in the direction children’s media took at the end of the war, and what this means for the children in Serbia today in terms of their understanding of national identity. Professionals within the television production industry may also have insights to share on what they think could be the future implications of younger generations being only partially aware of their country’s history and previous cultures. We also hope to explore the wider impacts of the closing down and reconstruction of major television networks in Serbia through interviews with experienced television producers as well as general audiences. We hope to find from these conversations opinions from the older, politically aware generations about knowing that the younger generations in Serbia are being schooled and socialised in a way that modifies remnants of life in Serbia before the war.