2004
Volume 40, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1384-6930
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7286

Abstract

Lost in representation? A discourse analysis of Japan and the Japanese in the Dutch television show ‘Wie is de Mol?’

Lost in representation? A discourse analysis of Japan and the Japanese in the Dutch television show ‘Wie is de Mol?’

In 2010 the popular Dutch reality television show ‘Wie is de Mol?’ took ten Dutch celebrities to Japan. Applying discourse analysis, this article explores the representation of Japan and its culture as portrayed in the show. Building upon theories about Orientalism and cultural stereotypes, the study illustrates that the programme provides a fairly balanced and nuanced depiction of Japan. This is in part due to the nature of the programme, which mainly revolves around the candidates and uses the country as an ‘interactive background’. However, the show does largely follow the Orientalist representational paradigm of depicting Japan, as the programme needs to provide images and narratives that are recognizable to Dutch viewers of whom most are not familiar with Japan. Stereotypes and clichés are therefore used, but often in innovative and playful ways. It is argued that popular television shows can influence and shape ideas and images of other countries.

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2012-09-01
2022-01-25
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