Publication by 2009 DPDF Empires of Vision Fellow Jill Campaiola-Veen:
Hybridization scholars have shown that the implosion of culture in response to globalization has led nations to feel threatened and thus reclaim their cultural differences. Nouvelle Star, the French version of American Idol, is a powerful representation of this process. The global format which emphasized popularity and emotions was rejected to showcase traits considered to be distinctly French: intellectualism and musical taste. By exploring the franchise’s history and analyzing Nouvelle Star’s episodes and audience responses, this paper describes how global similarities and national differences were produced in a movement of cultural hybridization.