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Title: British documentary television production : tradition, change and 'crisis' within a practitioner community.
Author: Dover, Caroline Jane.
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis will examine the professional identity, beliefs and practices of documentary programme-makers working in British television in the late 1990s. The principal purpose of this enquiry is to understand the ways in which traditions of genre and profession are influential within current documentary programme-making and how these traditions interact with structural and ideological changes within the British broadcasting industry. Original research findings presented here describe and analyse: changes in the types of documentary programmes broadcast during the 1990s; transformations in the production process; public debates about documentary television that took place in 1998/1 999; practitioners' production experiences and their perceptions of profession and genre. It is argued that documentary directors/producers comprise a symbolic community that is conceptually constructed through common practices, shared guidelines and traditions. Although documentarists' claims for documentary-making are sometimes contradicted by the practical realities of their work, the community and its associated traditions are particularly important to practitioners when industry change prompts fears of a "crisis" in their profession. The general theoretical aim is to describe and analyse relational and discursive aspects of both professional identity and cultural production within the context of a changing industry. Contained within the thesis is an exploration of the academic fields within which this study is sited, a discussion of the theoretical and methodological approach adopted and presentation of the findings arising from the programme survey (including a comparative study of documentary television in the United States) and the ethnographic-type research conducted with documentary television practitioners.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available