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This collection of scholarly essays examines reality television. The first show, Survivor, inspired a national craze when it aired in the summer of 2000. Ever since, successors and copycats have been on each of the four largest networks. The basics stay the same: put a group of people into situations bound to cause conflict, and watch them squirm.
Rather than criticize the series' voyeuristic appeal, this work evaluates what goes on within the text of such shows and how they reflect or affect our larger culture. Contributors include researchers from communications, sociology, political science, and psychology. The contributions cover such topics as reality television's relationships with cultural identity, publicity rights, historical perspectives, trust, decision-making strategies, political rationality, office politics, and primitivism. Each chapter includes a bibliography.
|Introduction: Culture, Communication, and Community Revealed in and through Reality Television||1|
|1||Individual and Cultural Identity in the World of Reality Television||11|
|2||Contrived Television Reality: Survivor as a Pseudo-event||27|
|3||Who Owns Your Personality: Reality Television and Publicity Rights||37|
|4||From Dragnet to Survivor: Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Reality Television||57|
|5||Reel Life: The Social Geometry of Reality Shows||73|
|6||The Nonverbal Communication of Trustworthiness: A Necessary Survivor Skill||97|
|7||Metaphors of Survival: A Textual Analysis of the Decision-Making Strategies of the Survivor Contestants||111|
|8||Survivor, Social Choice, and the Impediments to Political Rationality: Reality TV as Social Science Experiment||132|
|9||Mutual Metaphors of Survivor and Office Politics: Images of Work in Popular Survivor Criticism||153|
|10||Self-Help for Savages: The "Other" Survivor, Primitivism, and the Construction of American Identity||182|
|11||The Communication Ethics of Survivor||199|
|12||Traveling the Terrain of Screened Realities: Our Reality, Our Television||213|