Media Rituals and Memory: Exploring the Historical Phenomenology of American Local Television

Phillip J. Hutchison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


For more than two decades during the mid-20th century, local entertainment television shaped daily experience across the United States. Although often viewed as trivial by historians, these extinct television genres offer valuable insights into the relationship among media technology, historical consciousness, and cultural memory. Emergent theories of historical phenomenology help facilitate and expand such insights. The phenomenological perspective, which focuses on the sensory experience of media technology in historical settings, illustrates how audience memories inform the historical significance of this programming. The present study utilizes insights from ethnographic data and historical recordings to fortify its findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-243
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Communication Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported in part by a grant from the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information Research and Creative Activities Program.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • cultural memory
  • historical phenomenology
  • local television
  • media and memory
  • media rituals
  • television history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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