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Bonds of EmpireWest Indians and Britishness from Victoria to Decolonization$
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Anne Spry Rush

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588558

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588558.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2022

Egalitarian Imperialism

Egalitarian Imperialism

The BBC and the West Indies

(p.148) 7 Egalitarian Imperialism
Bonds of Empire

Anne Spry Rush

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the BBC's dual role in early Caribbean radio (1920s–1940s) as a broadcaster to the region through its Empire Service, and in developing West Indian–based radio. In this era the BBC's explicit goal was to ‘project Britain’ and through this process to cement colonials’ loyalty to the empire. Before the Second World War the BBC's projection of Britain was largely insular, as was its understanding of who were Britons — programs were thus designed to appeal only to a white middle-class audience. Yet wartime circumstances and the ethereal nature of radio itself led BBC officials to embrace a more inclusive idea of who could be considered British. Although still focused on the middle-class, in both programming and staffing, the BBC began to include the empire and colonial subjects themselves as an integral part of its own, and, by extension, British culture.

Keywords:   audience, BBC, British culture, broadcast, Caribbean radio, colonial subjects, Empire Service, middle-class, programs, projection of Britain

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