Belonging in Thuis and 7de Laan: a critical whiteness studies perspective

  • Hannelie Marx Knoetze University of South Africa
Keywords: Whiteness studies, community soap opera, Public Service Broadcasting (PSB), Public Service Television, controlled case comparison, national identity, 7de Laan, Thuis


Within the South African and Belgian contexts, Public Service Television remains a key role player in the dissemination of ideas around national identity. Moreover, whiteness manifests as one aspect of national identity in both contexts and remains (to differing degrees) a normative construction. This article presents the findings of a controlled case comparison of a sample from two community soap operas (7de Laan and Thuis, broadcast by the South African (SABC) and Flemish (VRT) Public Service Broadcasters respectively) from the perspective of Critical Whiteness Studies. What my analysis sought to investigate was how the politics of belonging play out in these PSB narratives and the possible implications this holds for local as well as global discourses of whiteness and power in Public Service Media. The analysis revealed three rhetorical devices which function to maintain whiteness as hegemonic ideology in both texts despite the fact that they originate in disparate contexts.

Author Biography

Hannelie Marx Knoetze, University of South Africa
Dr Hannelie Marx Knoetze is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Media Studies in the Department of Communication Science at the University of South Africa.


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