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Construction of world views above the clouds - The relation between global and local identities in inflight magazines


Inflight magazines constitute a considerable group of historical sources with more than 700 different magazines and millions of circulations per month. Due to their popular character and the high amount of advertising they have been mostly ignored as a historical source. In a first step, my dissertation strives to make inflight magazines accessible for further research and create an overview of the amount of published magazines. It especially focusses on the specific characteristics of inflight magazines like their circulation, the different readers and their reading habits. In a second step, the special emphasis and techniques for dividing the “own” and the “other” in the articles and depictions will be examined, because in these articles a partly explicit, partly implicit construction of different identities takes place. This construction of identities is not just situated between the two poles of a national identity, which is inherent in the magazines because of their backing by often national airlines, and of a cosmopolitan identity, which they inevitable obtain due to their mission to promote travel in a seemingly safe and globalized world. The spatial localization of identity can take place on several different levels, such as the regional, the national, the transnational and the international level.

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