- South Park boys and Sex and the City women: television trade, narrowcasting and the export of gender categories
- Volume | Issue number
- 2 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article analyses the export of the gendered 'demographic logics' of American television to four European countries: France, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. As American and (later) European television landscapes have become increasingly fragmented, television targets increasingly specific audiences. Through interviews with cultural intermediaries and document and website analysis, three gendered categories were found representing central 'target audiences' for today's narrowcasting that came to Europe from Hollywood: the housewife, the Sex and the City woman, and the South Park boy. This article traces the emergence of these categories, and their uneven diffusion in European television landscapes, highlighting the dynamics of transnational diffusion of cultural categories. It shows how gendered audience categorizations provide a strategic site to employ the notoriously elusive concept of intersectionality in actual empirical analysis. This analysis of imported gendered categories underscores the similarity between the logic of narrowcasting and the analytical stance proposed by intersectionality theory, allowing us to critically analyse the politics of narrowcasting.
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