New Article: Barak-Brandes, Mothers in Contemporary Israeli TV Commercials

Barak-Brandes, Sigal. “‘And she does it all in heels’: Mothers in Contemporary Israeli TV Commercials.” Feminist Media Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2016.1178160

 

Abstract

Although numerous studies have examined the image of women in advertising, the current study is exceptional in looking at the representations of motherhood and mothering practices in contemporary Israeli TV commercials, in an attempt to shed light on the ideological messages they reflect and promote. Sixty-four TV commercials were analyzed using critical discourse analysis. In many ads the mother is depicted as aesthetically pleasing and shapely. This inclusion of the beauty myth in all its cruel demands into the can-do mother myth, could lead Israeli women to a sense of failure as they compare themselves to the glamorous image in the ads and invariably fall short. The hetero-couple-headed nuclear family shown in many ads seems to be a conservative manifestation of the assumption that the “good mother” exists only in the framework of the normative family unit. It seems that in the context of the advertising genre, these are products that lie at the heart of family and couple relationships, and that it is therefore possible to speak of the commodification of the family. The study also found progressive images of the clever, resourceful mother alongside the pathetic, ridiculed one—a new kind of a “bad mother.”

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New Article: Barak-Brandes, Ideologies of Motherhood in Contemporary Israeli TV Commercials

Barak-Brandes, Sigal. “Ideologies of Motherhood in Contemporary Israeli TV Commercials.” Communication, Culture & Critique (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cccr.12143

 

Abstract

This article is the first to scrutinize representations of motherhood and mothering practices in contemporary Israeli TV commercials in an attempt to shed light on the ideological constructs that these representations reflect and promote. I employ critical discourse analysis to identify the major recurring features in commercials that represent mothers and mothering. These features indicate advertising’s ability to mobilize the patriarchal ideology of motherhood while using different thematic motifs, and such a mobilization of ideology occurs in the case of both antiessentialist and essentialist messages on motherhood. These different messages complete and complement each other, while in the end they enable advertising to exploit cultural norms and expectations in the service of the marketing and promotion of commodities.

ToC: Jewish Film & New Media 4.1 (2016; special issue on genres)

Jewish Film & New Media

Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2016

Table of Contents

SPECIAL ISSUE: GENRES IN JEWISH AND ISRAELI CINEMA

Guest Editors: Yaron Peleg and Yvonne Kozlovsky-Golan

 

New Article: Harlap, Reading the Israeli Television Miniseries Nevelot

Harlap, Itay. “Bad Television/ Good (post)Television. Reading the Israeli Television Miniseries Nevelot (Eagles).” Critical Studies in Television (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1940161215626565
 
Abstract

Nevelot (Eagles) is an Israeli miniseries about two elderly men who, in their youth, fought for a Jewish Zionist underground movement in Palestine, and who in the present-day, embark upon an all-out, killing spree across the city of Tel Aviv, targeting exclusively the young. Whilst it does not directly address television (TV) per se, key scenes and paratexts convey that Nevelot is by no means ‘regular TV’, and that watching it constitutes a viewing experience which differs altogether from ‘regular TV viewing’; a practice often associated with passivity, femininity and victimhood. Employing terms from Zionist, gender and cultural discursive fields, Nevelot offers a fascinating commentary on contemporary Israeli society and the TV content it produces.

 

 

 

New Article: Shoshana, Reflexivity, Conformity, and Israeli Big Brother

Shoshana, Avihu. “Reflexivity, Conformity, and Israeli Big Brother.” Television & New Media 17.3 (2016): 243-53.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1527476415602779

 

Abstract

This article examines how regular viewers of the reality program Big Brother interpret the program in Israel. The findings of the study reveal that viewers emphasize the formal characteristics of the program stimulate them in a way that other reality programs do not. The interviewees report the program influences them in three ways: excessive preoccupation about personal reflexivity (talking with the televisual other), an experience of inundation, and the development of a new desire: “the desire to be discovered.” These three influences connect personal reflexivity to, inter alia, actions aligned with social control and the ideal-cultural self, which are at the foundation of psychological and neoliberal discourses.

 

 

New Article: Perkins, Translating the Television ‘Treatment’ Genre: Be’Tipul and In Treatment

Perkins, Claire. “Translating the Television ‘Treatment’ Genre: Be’Tipul and In Treatment.” Continuum 29.5 (2015): 781-94.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10304312.2015.1068730

 

Abstract

In Treatment (2008–2010) was the first Israeli series to be remade for US television, and its largely positive critical reception established a reputation for Israel as a home for quality drama – setting the stage for the remake of Hatufim (Prisoners of War, 2009–2012) into Homeland (2011–). This article takes up the case of In Treatment to examine how the process of transnational television remaking can illuminate the concept of US quality television in the millennial era. Arguing that the aesthetic and industrial brand of ‘quality’ is defined by the theme and device of transformation, the article analyses how the American remake gradually diverges from the original series Be’Tipul (2005–2008) to accentuate this concept in its stories and narrative style. The resulting text presents the quintessential contemporary example of what I call the television ‘treatment’ genre: a mode of programming that operates by centripetal narrative complexity to present ‘serial selves,’ or characters whose time in therapy produces progressive or regressive modifications in their emotional state. When read against the more halting and circular narratives of Be’Tipul, this format demonstrates a clear socio-cultural remapping of its topic: where therapeutic culture in America is presented as a site that is underpinned by contested neoliberal ideologies on the government of subjectivity.

 

 

New Article: Zanger, Between Homeland and Prisoners of War: Remaking Terror

Zanger, Anat. “Between Homeland and Prisoners of War: Remaking Terror.” Continuum 29.5 (2015): 731-42.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10304312.2015.1068733

 

Abstract

The Israeli series Prisoners of War (Hatufim, Keshet, Israel, Gideon Raff, 2009–2011) and Homeland (Showtime, US 2011–2013; developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series with Gideon Raff as one of the producers) is a special case of hypertextuality (Genette 1982). Both serial dramas revolve around prisoners of war who have returned home and their families, intelligence agency operatives and terror organizations operating behind the scenes. In these serializations of the thriller genre, narratives of paranoia and conspiracy render invisible terror visible on the screen. The focalization of the various plots and sub-plots as well as their reception spaces are different however. Prisoners of War tells the story of three soldiers who are kidnapped, held captive for 17 years and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder on their return home. The series was broadcast at a time when intensive negotiations were underway for the release of three IDF soldiers who had been kidnapped. Homeland, on the other hand, places centre stage a female CIA operative (Claire Danes) who suffers from bipolar disorder. The first season was broadcast in post-9/11 America while American soldiers were still fighting in Iraq. Both series therefore directly address their audiences and relate to the public sphere outside the studio. The reception of these texts incorporates their meaning as reconstructed by their publics. Thus, while both series involve a ritual of scapegoating as a means of resolving conflict, each reflects and produces its own repertoire of reality (‘realemes’). Interestingly, a traumatic excess is inscribed on both male and female bodies as each series rewrites its own society’s myth: the binding of Isaac in the Israeli Prisoners of War and Joan of Arc in the American Homeland.

 

 

New Book: Lavie, from HaBurganim to In Treatment (in Hebrew)

Lavie, Noa. From HaBurganim to . Tel Aviv: Resling, 2015 (in Hebrew).

 

Lavie

 

 

Against the flood of a global and local television genre considered “inferior” – “reality” TV – there are growing public, official, and scholarly voices who distinguish between purely commercial television and quality, or even artistic, television. The quality discourse, which originated in the United States, revolves mainly around serialized drama shows, which as a television genre is even a competitor to the cinema in its artistic innovation.

Israeli television is heavily influenced by this global quality discourse. Moreover, during the 1990s Israeli television was revolutionized with the privatization of the television market in Israel and the establishment of commercial TV channels and cable and satellite channels. This revolution enabled, in parallel with the institutionalization of the global quality discourse, the production of original Israeli TV drama series immeasurably higher than during the sole reign of the IBA. Accordingly, this book explores how the serialized television drama became a “quality” television genre which is treated as a work of art in every respect.

This book does not deny the possibility that there is such thing as “high art,” or television productions that bears artistic marks; but Noa Lavie’s sociological spotlight seeks to illumine the struggles and the social and organizational causes that defined, beginning in the 1990s and down to the first decade of the 2000s, drama series such as “The Bourgeois” or “In Treatment”, along with other series, as high-quality and artistic television. This is achieved through an analysis of interviews with prominent creators of television drama in Israel, analysis of TV reviews published in major newspapers, and an account of the institutional-organizational field and the technological, regulatory, and other changes it underwent in the early 1990s.

 

Dr. Noa Lavi is the head of the political communication division and a lecturer in the School of Government and Society at Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College.

 

 

 

New Article: Lavie & Dhoest, Quality Television in the Making

Lavie, Noa, and Alexander Dhoest. “‘Quality Television’ in the Making: The Cases of Flanders and Israel.” Poetics (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.poetic.2015.08.006

 

Abstract

This article discusses the properties of ‘quality television’ as constructed within the field of television production. It does so by analyzing the discourse of television creators and critics in two countries, Israel and Flanders, taking a theoretical approach based in part on Bourdieusian theory. Most academic work about ‘quality television’ concentrates on Anglo-American television drama series. In this paper we offer a different perspective by focusing on two small but prosperous television markets outside of the Anglo-American world. Our findings suggest that the quality discourse in both countries contains autonomous-artistic alongside heteronomous-capitalist ideological elements, apparently under the influence of the Anglo-American discourse of quality. Our findings also suggest that both ideological elements contribute to the cultural legitimation of the television drama series in both countries, though the capitalist discourse plays a more evident role among creators than among critics. Finally, we also discuss the differences between the Flemish and the Israeli discourses of ‘quality television.’

 

 

New Article: Bourdon and Ribke, The Politics of Television Audience Measurement

Bourdon, Jerome, and Nahuel Ribke. “Ratings, the State and Globalization: The Politics of Television Audience Measurement in Israel.” Media, Culture & Society (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0163443715594034

 

Abstract

This is a study of the introduction to Israel of a technology for measuring television audiences, the ‘People Meter’ (PM), focusing on its political aspects. It links the new practice to the history of the state, precisely to the emergence of the neo-liberal state, which brought about a new relation to numbers, using an increased quantity of statistics for the regulation of economic sectors. In Israel, the state, in both its old (government ministers, administrators, state-owned/public channels) and new (regulatory bodies) guises, has been deeply involved in audience measurement. Next, the study situates the history of audience measurement in a global context, examining the ways in which both public actors, and private actors associated with international marketing groups have domesticated a new mode of regulation for audience measurement – the Joint Industry Committee (JIC), and the new ‘state-of-the-art’ technology – the PM. Third, it considers the political role played by audience figures in the fight over the representation of the public and of specific minorities in the public sphere: the Arab minority in Israel, the Palestinians and the settlers in the occupied territories, the Jewish minorities from the former Soviet Union (FSU) and from Ethiopia.

ToC: Jewish Film & Media 3.1 (2015); special issue: Israeli film & television

Jewish Film & Media, 3.1, Spring 2015

 

Israeli Film and Television
pp. 1-2
Yaron Peleg

Articles

Secularity and Its Discontents: Religiosity in Contemporary Israeli Culture
pp. 3-24
Yaron Peleg

“Lifting the Veil”: Judaic-Themed Israeli Cinema and Spiritual Aesthetics
pp. 25-47
Dan Chyutin

Jewish Revenge: Haredi Action in the Zionist Sphere
pp. 48-76
Yael Friedman, Yohai Hakak

Televised Agendas: How Global Funders Make Israeli TV More “Jewish”
pp. 77-103
Galeet Dardashti

POPU

Reviews

On Hasamba 3G: Newer Kinds of Jews
pp. 104-112
Tali Artman Partock

On Shtisel (or the Haredi as Bourgeois)
pp. 113-117
Yaron Peleg

 

Cite: Gottlieb, Media Studies Orientations for Israel Education

Gottlieb, Owen. “Media Studies Orientations for Israel Education: Lessons from In Treatment, Homeland, and Z-Cars.Journal of Jewish Education 79.1 (2013): 49-69.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15244113.2013.766125

 

Abstract

Israeli film and television have risen to international prominence, presenting compelling and complicating perspectives. Simultaneously, Web 2.0 technologies have accelerated the spread and immediacy of digital media. Following the work of Holtz (2003) and Levisohn (2010) in developing orientations for teaching Bible and Rabbinic Literature, this article develops a menu of media studies orientations for teaching Israel to Americans. It explores distinctive aspects of media studies, the relevance to Israel education of the work of Marland (1968a, 1968b), and applies the orientations through case studies of the Israeli television series Be-Tipul and Hatufim and their American adaptations, In Treatment and Homeland.

Cite: Talmon, Negotiating Israeli Jewish Identity on Television

Talmon, Miri. “A Touch Away from Cultural Others: Negotiating Israeli Jewish Identity on Television.” Shofar 31.2 (2013): 55-72.

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/shofar/v031/31.2.talmon.html

Abstract

The Israeli television drama series, A Touch Away, Jerusalem Mix, and Srugim are symbolic sites for the negotiation of Jewish identity in Israel, a multicultural immigrant society. They open a window to the sociocultural religious communities within Israel, hence creating more visibility of these versions of Israeliness on the small screen, and deconstructing stereotypes thereof, allowing for more complex images of "religious Israeli Jews." The dramatic elaboration of intercultural encounters and conflicts in these TV dramas are contextualized by the Tzav Piyus project of reconciliation, which was initiated as a consequence of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination and the painful sociocultural fissures associated with it, as well as the larger enterprise of the AVI CHAI foundation—the promotion both in Israel and in North America of an awareness and discourse about Jewish identity as a complex and diversified experience. How do resources of the medium—serial drama and audiovisual expressions of television—serve to construct identity as an open-ended process yet a social product bound by communal constraints? This analysis seeks to illuminate how television dramas bring Israeli and American viewers alike to a touch away from marginalized cultural universes within Israel, as well as from the contradictions underlying the yearning to create a unified collective Israeli and Jewish identity in a democratic state.