Sandvoss, Cornel (2008) On the Couch with Europe: The Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcast Union and Belonging on the Old Continent. Popular Communication, 6 (3). pp. 190-207. ISSN 1540-5702

This study explores the role of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in creating and shaping European identity and belonging through an analysis of the affective bond television audiences have built with the largest and longest running pan-European media event. In reference to the ESC as an object of retained childhood media consumption, this bond is analyzed drawing on the notion of transitional objects in the work of object-relations theorist D.W. Winnicott and its adaptations in recent work on media consumption. The paper argues that ESC serves as space of both illusionary belonging, yet equally challenges the homogenous constructions of home and belonging prevalent in national identity through the disillusionment of a shared and negotiated cultural space, allowing for the formation of, borrowing Winnicott's term, a “good enough” Heimat that offers a dual space of belonging yet simultaneously challenges the horizon of expectation upon which such belonging rests.

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