The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922-53

By Thomas Hajkowski

The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922-53


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-8477-9741-4
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: July 2013
  • BIC Category: The arts / Folk & traditional music, Humanities / British & Irish history, Radio & Television Industry, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / General, European history, Folk style, Traditional & folk music, United Kingdom, Great Britain, History, Modern History
  • Series: Studies in Popular Culture


Examining the ways in which the BBC constructed and disseminated British national identity during the second quarter of the twentieth century, this book is the first study that focuses in a comprehensive way on how the BBC, through its radio programs, tried to represent what it meant to be British.

The BBC and national identity in Britain offers a revision of histories of regional broadcasting in Britain that interpret it as a form of cultural imperialism. The regional organization of the BBC, and the news and creative programming designed specifically for regional listeners, reinforced the cultural and historical distinctiveness of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The BBC anticipated, and perhaps encouraged, the development of the hybrid "dual identities" characteristic of contemporary Britain.

This book will be of interest to scholars and students of nationalism and national identity, British imperialism, mass media and media history, and the "four nations" approach to British history.


This is an important book that makes a valuable contribution to our knowledge of modern British history and the evolution of British identity in the twentieth century.
Robert Savage, Boston College, H-Albion, 01/02/2012

Resting on a solid foundation of BBC written archives, personnel writings and speeches, and an impressive array of recent investigations, the volume's seven chapters reveal how Corporation and government decisions, from scheduling to content, impacted the marketing of Britishness.
Eugenia M. Palmegiano, JHistory, 01/02/2012

one of the most original and incisive contributions to the history of British broadcasting since the publication of Asa Briggs' mammoth five-volume history between 1961 and 1995....It is a book that deserves to be afforded significant intellectual currency not only in the history of broadcasting but also in the academic discourse around national identity that emerged around the millennium and has received stimulus with the formation of Britain's' first coalition government in seventy years.
James Chapman, University of Leicester, Visual Culture in Britain (13), 31/01/2012

The book is a welcome addition to the literature, particularly for those interested in either the BBC or imperial culture
Laura Beers, Journal of Modern History


1. "Jolly proud you are a Britisher:" empire and identity, 1923-39
2. From the war to Westminster Abbey: the BBC and the empire, 1939-53
3. The BBC and the making of a multi-national monarchy
4. Rethinking regional broadcasting in Britain, 1922-53
5. Broadcasting a nation: The BBC and national identity in Scotland
6. BBC broadcasting in Wales, 1922-53
7. This is Northern Ireland: regional broadcasting and identity in "Ulster"
Select Bibliography


Thomas Hajkowski is an Assistant Professor of History at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania

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