The Tube Has Spoken: Reality TV and History

The Tube Has Spoken: Reality TV and History


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Featuring ordinary people, celebrities, game shows, hidden cameras, everyday situations, and humorous or dramatic situations, reality TV is one of the fastest growing and important popular culture trends of the past decade, with roots reaching back to the days of radio. The Tube Has Spoken provides an analysis of the growing phenomenon of reality TV, its evolution as a genre, and how it has been shaped by cultural history. This collection of essays looks at a wide spectrum of shows airing from the 1950s to the present, addressing some of the most popular programs including Alan Funt's Candid Camera, Big Brother, Wife Swap, Kid Nation, and The Biggest Loser. It offers both a multidisciplinary approach and a cross-cultural perspective, considering Australian, Canadian, British, and American programs. In addition, the book explores how popular culture shapes modern western values; for example, both An American Family and its British counterpart, The Family, showcase the decline of the nuclear family in response to materialistic pressures and the modern ethos of individualism. This collection highlights how reality TV has altered the tastes and values of audiences in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It analyzes how reality TV programs reflect the tensions between the individual and the community, the transformative power of technology, the creation of the celebrity, and the breakdown of public and private spheres.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813133881
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Series: Film and History
Pages: 275
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Julie Anne Taddeo is visiting associate professor of history at the University of Maryland and the author of Lytton Strachey and the Search for Modern Sexual Identity. Ken Dvorak is former president of the American Culture Association and an editorial member of the Journal of Popular Culture, Journal of American Culture, and Film & History.

Table of Contents

Table of ContentsAcknowledgementsForewordDeborah A. Carmichael Editor's Introduction Julie Anne Taddeo and Ken Dvorak Part I Reality TV as Social Experiment Citizen Funt: Surveillance as Cold War Entertainment Fred Nadis, Independent ScholarFrom Social Experiment to Postmodern Jokes: Big Brother and the Progressive Construction of CelebrityLee Baron, Northumbria University, UK From the Kitchen to 10 Downing Street: Jamie's School Dinners and Reality Cooking James Leggott, Northumbria University, UK Tobias Hochscherf, Northumbria, University, UK The Patriotic American is a Thin American: Fatness and National Identity in The Biggest LoserCassandra L. Jones, Bowling Green State University Part II Class, Gender and Reimaging of Family Life Disillusionment, Divorce, and the Destruction of the American Dream: An American Family (1973) and the rise of Reality TelevisionLaurie Rupert, Oklahoma State UniversitySayanti Ganguly, Oklahoma State University "The television audience cannot be expected to bear too much reality…" The Family (BBC, 1974) and Reality TV Su Holmes, University of East Anglia Reality TV and the U.S. Family Leigh H. Edwards, Florida State University Shopping, Makeovers and Nationhood: Reality Television and Women's Programming in Canada Sarah A. Matheson, Brock University, Canada Babes in BonanzaLand: Kid Nation, Commodification and the Death of Play Debbie Clare Olson, Oklahoma State University Part III Reality TV and the Living History Experiment "A Storybook Everyday" : Fiction and History in the Channel 4/PBS House Series Julie Anne Taddeo, University of Maryland — College Park Ken Dvorak, Indiana Higher Education Telecommunications System Living History in Documentary Practice: The Making of The Colony Aurora Scheelings, Independent Filmmaker, Griffith University, Australia "What about giving us a real version of Australian History?" : Identity, Ethics and Historical Understanding in Reality History Television Michelle Arrow, Macquarie University, Australia

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