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Fictional politics on TV: Comparing the representations of political reality in the US-series The West Wing and the German series Kanzleramt

Cordula Nitsch & Christiane Eilders | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: It is generally agreed upon that fictional stories can serve as sources for the audience’s perceptions of reality. This also includes the political realm. Our paper examines the fictional representation of politics in the U.S. series The West Wing and its German adaption, Kanzleramt. The comparative content analysis concentrates on political actors and political themes as key parameters of fictional politics. It investigates whether the national political context is reflected in the political dramas. Results show a rather small impact of national contexts. This indicates that the logic of fictionalization levels out national differences in shaping fictional politics.

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