La télévision et le peuple, ou le retour d'une énigme

Translated title of the contribution: Television and the people, or the return of a riddle

Jérôme Bourdon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article recalls a major episode in the history of European public service television: the transformation of the representations of the public - from a "popular" audience, eager to be educated which came both from the right and the left, which still had a revolutionary people in view, the public became a popular audience eagerly seeking disreputable leisure in throngs: a return of the Ancient Regime's rabble. This episode constitues a challenge for theories of popular culture, all too often imprisonned traditional elitism, (left-wing) neo-elitism which claims than a non manipulated popular audience would have a "better taste", a (left-wing) neo-elitism, a neo-populism which rehabilitates the popular audience by dissolving it into the texts (Fiske), and finally a denial of popular audiences treated as a "fiction" (Hartley). Against a global view of television and its audience, it is necessary to go beyond the cultural hierarchies implicitly or explicitly at work in the dominant paradigms.

Translated title of the contributionTelevision and the people, or the return of a riddle
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
Issue number42
StatePublished - 2005


  • Audience
  • Europe
  • Popular education
  • Public service
  • Television


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