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The body in the tower of Babel: Health care and illness in Swedish TV-fiction since 1970
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, Media and communication studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0505-9119
2017 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A remarkable increase of domestic production of TV-fiction was apparent in Sweden from 1970, when the second national public service television channel (TV2) was established, and onwards. Serials and single films produced by the national public service have in retrospect been regarded as a vital part of national popular memory.

Swedish TV drama in the 1970s and (to lower extent) in the 1980s has usually been identified with realism and overt social content. Central institutions of the welfare state – like public school or health care – were often in focus. During the introduction of cable TV in the mid 1980s, the genrescape of Swedish TV drama changed rapidly. Crime fiction and melodrama/soap operas or high quality mini-series, successively replaced the dominance of contemporary social drama. With the huge success of Scandicrime/Nordic Noir during the 2000s and 2010s, further changes in Swedish TV-fiction is apparent.

One constant theme throughout these changing conditions of genre structures and production practices surrounding TV drama in Sweden, is the representation of illness and health care. All since Jourhavande (On duty for the day, 1973 and 1975), about the working conditions and quality of care in a small hospital, health care and medical treatment have been a recurring theme in Swedish TV drama. Babels hus (The House of Babel 1981), a bleak artful drama in six episodes focusing an elderly man recovering from a heart attack, and family melodrama serial Skärgårdsdoktorn (Doctor in the Archipelago, 1997-2000), are the most successful examples concerning audience following.

In my paper, I will examine drama series concentrating solely on health care (hospitals, retirement homes, private practitioner, etc.), as well as in other productions in different genres. My aim is to discuss aesthetic and thematic dimensions, with changing notions of the welfare state as one recurrent context.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Television drama, health care, social issues, illness
National Category
Studies on Film
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-24644OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-24644DiVA: diva2:1118910
Conference
NECS: Network for European Cinema and Media Studies 2017, 28 June - 1 July, Paris, France
Available from: 2017-07-03 Created: 2017-07-03 Last updated: 2017-07-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf