Se concentrer sur le travail pour mettre en feuilleton le monde nucléaire dans les années 1960 : opération de télévision-vérité ou de propagande ?

Abstract : Analyzing a 1960s TV serial that takes place in the nuclear world provides an opportunity to wonder how the fictional depiction of people at work in a given sector contributes to the symbolic construction of a new public opinion on this sector. In this case, it first highlights that the applications of nuclear are not limited to the bomb. It also displays an industrial field that is made intriguing by its discoveries, attractive by the working conditions it offers, impressive by its seriousness, and worthy of respect and support, even admiration. Last, as opposed to a documentary on scientific and technical feats or on the power of the atomic bomb, it does not show a world populated by heroes or victims, but one made up of ordinary workers, livened up by colorful characters and by hard social relationships akin to those traditionally found in labor – in short, a world in which the audience can recognize itself. One effect is the prevention of the risk of exasperation that would be associated to government propaganda. This results in a modern form of communication-through-fiction in which the object shines in self-evidence while giving way to low-stake twist-and-turns. The ORTF’s increasing interest for truth-television at the time, as much as the hiring of a filmmaker for this heavily-constrained operation probably account for the unexpected subversion of the order via a hardened depiction of labor.
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Pierre Fournier, Pascal Cesaro. Se concentrer sur le travail pour mettre en feuilleton le monde nucléaire dans les années 1960 : opération de télévision-vérité ou de propagande ?. Images du travail, travail des images, Université de Poitiers, 2017, Dossier « Le travail à l'écran : mise en scène des groupes professionnels par les media ». ⟨halshs-01664878⟩

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