Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture

Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture

by Susan Murray, Laurie Ouellette
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814756875

ISBN-13: 9780814756874

Pub. Date: 02/24/2004

Publisher: New York University Press

Survivor. The Bachelor. Extreme Makeover. Big Brother. Joe Millionaire. American Idol. The Osbournes. It is virtually impossible to turn on a television without coming across some sort of reality programming. Yet, while this genre has rapidly moved from the fringes of television culture to its lucrative core,

Overview

Survivor. The Bachelor. Extreme Makeover. Big Brother. Joe Millionaire. American Idol. The Osbournes. It is virtually impossible to turn on a television without coming across some sort of reality programming. Yet, while this genre has rapidly moved from the fringes of television culture to its lucrative core, critical attention has not kept pace.

Beginning by unearthing its historical roots in early reality shows like Candid Camera and wending its way through An American Family, Cops, and The Real World to the most recent crop of reality programs, Reality TV is the first book to address the economic, visual, cultural, and audience dimensions of reality television. The essays provide a complex and comprehensive picture of how and why this genre emerged, what it means, how it differs from earlier television programming, and how it engages societies, industries, and individuals. Topics range from the construction of televisual "reality" to the changing face of criminal violence on TV, to issues of surveillance, taste, and social control.

By spanning reality television's origins in the late 1940s to its current overwhelming popularity, Reality TV demonstrates both the tenacity of the format and its enduring ability to speak to our changing political and social desires and anxieties.

Contributors include: Nick Couldry, Mary Beth Haralovich, John Hartley, Chuck Kleinhans, Derek Kompare, Jon Kraszewski, Kathleen LeBesco, Justin Lewis, Ted Magder, Jennifer Maher, Anna McCarthy, Rick Morris, Chad Raphael, Elayne Rapping, Jeffrey Sconce, Michael W. Trosset, Pamela Wilson.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814756874
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
02/24/2004
Pages:
358
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 9.21(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction Laurie Ouellette Susan Murray 1

Part I Genre

1 "Stanley Milgram, Allen Funt and Me": Postwar Social Science and the "First Wave" of Reality TV Anna McCarthy 23

2 Performing the Real: Documentary Diversions (with Afterword) John Corner 44

3 "I Think We Need a New Name for It": The Meeting of Documentary and Reality TV Susan Murray 65

4 Teaching Us to Fake It: The Ritualized Norms of Television's "Reality" Games Nick Couldry 82

5 Extraordinarily Ordinary: The Osbournes as "An American Family" Derek Kompare 100

Part II Industry

6 The Political Economic Origins of Reali-TV Chad Raphael 123

7 Television 2.0: The Business of American Television in Transition Ted Magder 141

8 Hoaxing the "Real": On the Metanarrative of Reality Television Alison Hearn 165

9 Global TV Realities: International Markets, Geopolitics, and the Transcultural Contexts of Reality TV John McMurria 179

Part III Culture and Power

10 Country Hicks and Urban Cliques: Mediating Race, Reality, and Liberalism on MTV's The Real World Jon Kraszewski 205

11 "Take Responsibility for Yourself": Judge Judy and the Neoliberal Citizen Laurie Ouellette 223

12 Belabored Reality: Making It Work on The Simple Life and Project Runway Heather Hendershot 243

13 Cinderella Burps: Gender, Performativity, and the Dating Show Jonathan Gray 260

14 The Comedic Treatment of Reality: Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Fat Actress, and the Comeback Heather Osborne-Thompson 278

Part IV Interactivity

15 Melancholy, Merit, and Merchandise: The Postwar Audience Participation Show Amber Watts 301

16 Visceral Literacy:Reality TV, Savvy Viewers, and Auto-Spies Mark Andrejevic 321

17 Buying into American Idol: How We Are Being Sold on Reality Television Henry Jenkins 343

About the Contributors 363

Index 367

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