The Politics of Reality Television: Global Perspectives

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Reality television is global. Transnational television companies and international distribution networks facilitate the worldwide circulation of popular shows; the 1990s in particular saw the growth of media companies that specialize in the development of reality television formats that are easily adaptable to local variations. While the industrial history of the global migrations of reality television is well established, there has been less consideration of the theoretical and methodological implications of this expansion. The Politics of Reality Television encompasses an international selection of expert contributions who consider the specific ways these migrations test our understanding of, and means of investigating, reality television across the globe. The book addresses a wide range of topics, including:
• the global circulation and local adaptation of reality television formats and franchises
• the production of fame and celebrity around hitherto "ordinary" people
• the transformation of self under the public eye
• the tensions between fierce loyalties to local representatives and imagined communities bonding across regional and ethnic divides
• the struggle over the meanings and values of reality television across a range of national, regional, gender, class and religious contexts. The Politics of Reality Television proposes ways in which we can think through the international dimensions of reality television in the context of highly mobile media, politics, and publics. It offers a global, comparative examination of reality television alongside empirical research about the genre, its producers and consumers. This book will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students on a range of Media and Television Studies courses, particularly those on the globalisation of television and media, and reality television.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Exemplifying the vibrant scholarship on reality television, this collection tests the field's first generation of theory and initiates cross-cultural analysis of this globally pervasive television genre. Summing Up: Recommended.
— CHOICE, September 2011 (R. W. Morrow, Morgan State University)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Marwan M. Kraidy is Associate Professor of Global Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Reality Television and Arab Politics: Contention in Public Life (2009) and Hybridity, or, The Cultural Logic of Globalization (2005).

Katherine Sender is Associate Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Her books include Business not Politics: The Making of the Gay Market (2004) and Makeover Television and its Audiences (forthcoming).

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction: Migrating Genres, Travelling Participants, Shifting Theories Katherine Sender PART 1: PRODUCING IDENTITY Introduction Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt Chapter 2. Real-izing Exploitation Mark Andrejevic Chapter 3. When Reality TV is a Job Francois Jost Chapter 4. Just Be Yourself – Only More So: Ordinary Celebrity in the Era of Self-Service Television Laura Grindstaff PART 2: LABORING THE SELF Introduction Adrienne Shaw Chapter 5. Governing Bodies Gareth Palmer Chapter 6. Globalizing Lifestyles? Makeover Television in Singapore Tania Lewis Chapter 7. Reacting to Reality TV: The affective economy of an "extended social/public realm" Helen Wood and Beverly Skeggs PART 3: PERFORMING THE NATION Introduction Oren Livio Chapter 8. Commercial Nationalism on Balkan Reality Television Zala Volcic and Mark Andrejevic Chapter 9. World Citizens ‘a la Française’: Star Academy and the Negotiations of ‘French’ Identities Fabienne Darling-Wolf Chapter 10. Reality Television and the Making of Mobile Publics: The Case of Indian Idol Aswin Punathambekar PART 4: MIGRATING ECONOMIES Introduction Tara Liss-Marino Chapter 11. New Industry Dynamics: Lessons From Reality TV in Norway Yngvar Kjus Chapter 12. Continental Reality Television and the Expansion of South African Capital Sean Jacobs Chapter 13. Making Populations Appear Nick Couldry Chapter 14. Reality Television in New Worlds Marwan M. Kraidy

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