Douze point: Eurovisions and Euro-Divisions in the Eurovision Song Contest – Review of two decades of research

Gad Yair*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual international competition held by the European Broadcasting Union. The present article provides an updated review of the academic literature devoted to the study of the Eurovision Song Contest which in the past two decades developed into a serious and rich academic field with four main areas: (1) studies of imagining a unified Europe – wherein I review research devoted to cosmopolitan European visions and nation branding; (2) studies focusing on gender and what is often referenced as gay or ‘camp’ features in the Eurovision Song Contest; (3) studies of Euro-Divisions which focus on political bloc voting and cultural alliances – exposing consistent and persistent rifts and coalitions in the celebration of European unity; and (4) studies making use of Eurovision data as a cultural seismograph for explaining external phenomenon like economic trade and political conflicts. Two decades of study of the Eurovision reveal that the ideal of unity is persistently challenged by national and cultural commitments. While commentators often deem the Eurovision Song Contest to be a silly kitsch show of musical mediocrity, this review proves it to be an appealing and productive area for the serious study of European civilization and its discontents.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1013-1029
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume22
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.

Keywords

  • Cultural performance
  • Eurovision Song Contest
  • cultural studies
  • ethnos/continent
  • international relations

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