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,

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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.

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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
Introduction1
IGenre
1"Stanley Milgram, Allen Funt, and Me": Postwar Social Science and the "First Wave" of Reality TV19
2"I Think We Need a New Name for It": The Meeting of Documentary and Reality TV40
3Teaching Us to Fake It: The Ritualized Norms of Television's "Reality" Games57
4"Expect the Unexpected": Narrative Pleasure and Uncertainty due to Chance in Survivor75
5Extraordinarily Ordinary: The Osbournes as "An American Family"97
IIIndustry
6The Political Economic Origins of Reali-TV119
7The End of TV 101: Reality Programs, Formats, and the New Business of Television137
8Court TV: The Evolution of a Reality Format157
IIICultural Politics
9Country Hicks and Urban Cliques: Mediating Race, Reality, and Liberalism on MTV's The Real World179
10What Do Women Watch? Tuning In to the Compulsory Heterosexuality Channel197
11Aliens, Nomads, Mad Dogs, and Road Warriors: The Changing Face of Criminal Violence on TV214
12"Take Responsibility for Yourself": Judge Judy and the Neoliberal Citizen231
13See You in Hell, Johnny Bravo!251
IVReception
14Got to Be Real: Mediating Gayness on Survivor271
15The Meaning of Real Life288
16"Kiss Me Kat": Shakespeare, Big Brother, and the Taming of the Self303
17Jamming Big Brother: Webcasting, Audience Intervention, and Narrative Activism323
About the Contributors345
Index349

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