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Title: The media construction of family history: An analysis of “Who do you think you are?”
Authors: Lunt, Peter
First Published: 19-Sep-2017
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Citation: Communications, 2017, 42 (3), pp. 293-307
Abstract: Genealogy, once a specialized research practice, is increasingly a common social practice enabled by digitization and cultural intermediaries that support the construction of family histories. The idea of finding out about oneself through an exploration of the character and lives of ancestors is a growing social practice reflected in popular culture. Tracing one's personal traits through past family members and extending the sense of family and identity back in time potentially enriches personal identity and link personal, social and cultural memory. In this paper, an episode of the popular BBC TV program Who Do You Think You Are? is presented in which, it is argued, the celebrity guest embarks on a quest to construct a personalized history of the present as a way of resolving personal problems and understanding the basis of their celebrity. The implications of this analysis are expanded on to aid an understanding of the media representations of genealogy as a social practice and the media representation of the relation between history and memory.
DOI Link: 10.1515/commun-2017-0034
ISSN: 0341-2059
eISSN: 1613-4087
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Media and Communication

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