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The Production Culture of Religious Television: The Case of the Islam Channel

Abd Karim, Nur Kareelawati Binti (2015) The Production Culture of Religious Television: The Case of the Islam Channel. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Drawing on media sociology and cultural studies approaches, this thesis aims to conceptualise the production culture of religious television. The study of production culture emphasises ‘collective, daily cultural performance involving symbolic codes, [and] conventionalized power hierarchies’ within media organisation (Caldwell, 2008, p. 342). The study of production culture of Islam-based television is important as it stands to aid our understanding of how religious television programming – and in particular, Islamic television programming – comes to take the form it does. It might also enhance our understanding of how and under what conditions television production employees produce television programmes. By combining participant observation and interviews with textual analysis, this study analyses the complex ways in which television production workers adapt to the resource limitations and ideological constraints within the production culture of a television channel. It analyses both the production quality of a magazine talk show called Living the Life and the quality of working life amongst members of its production community. This thesis argues that the diminished quality of working life exhibited by television production workers contributes to the poor production quality of a magazine talk show. Empirical findings reveal the ways in which the socioreligious and political mission of the channel shapes creative decision-making processes during the production of Living the Life. By exploiting the religious idea of ‘work as a mission,’ the channel motivated its television production employees to work with limited resources and, subsequently, to become more vulnerable to self-exploit whilst striving for the ‘deferred reward’ promised by God in the afterlife. Additionally, ideological constraints foster a ‘culture of caution’ amongst workers, which lessens both their creative autonomy and emotional well-being. Whilst research into television production offers rich insights into the employee’s experience of creative-commercial tensions and emotional work, this particular thesis demonstrates how religion shapes the production culture of a religious television organisation, thereby affecting the ways in which television production employees perceive their positions and manage emotions in their everyday working lives.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: media production studies, production culture, television, media sociology, religion, cultural production, creative labour, sociology of work, cultural studies
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Media and Communication (Leeds)
Depositing User: N K B Abd Karim
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2016 09:28
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 13:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13341

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