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Reality TV : Remaking Television Culture - Susan Murray

Reality TV

Remaking Television Culture

By: Susan Murray (Editor), Laurie Ouellette (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 1st April 2004
ISBN: 9780814756874
Number Of Pages: 358

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"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.

Industry Reviews

"Offers the most insightful and significant scholarly analysis to date of the changes taking place in the economic "globalization" of television production. A delight to read, laced with wit and humor."


Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
"Stanley Milgram, Allen Funt, and Me": Postwar Social Science and the "First Wave" of Reality TVp. 19
"I Think We Need a New Name for It": The Meeting of Documentary and Reality TVp. 40
Teaching Us to Fake It: The Ritualized Norms of Television's "Reality" Gamesp. 57
"Expect the Unexpected": Narrative Pleasure and Uncertainty due to Chance in Survivorp. 75
Extraordinarily Ordinary: The Osbournes as "An American Family"p. 97
The Political Economic Origins of Reali-TVp. 119
The End of TV 101: Reality Programs, Formats, and the New Business of Televisionp. 137
Court TV: The Evolution of a Reality Formatp. 157
Cultural Politics
Country Hicks and Urban Cliques: Mediating Race, Reality, and Liberalism on MTV's The Real Worldp. 179
What Do Women Watch? Tuning In to the Compulsory Heterosexuality Channelp. 197
Aliens, Nomads, Mad Dogs, and Road Warriors: The Changing Face of Criminal Violence on TVp. 214
"Take Responsibility for Yourself": Judge Judy and the Neoliberal Citizenp. 231
See You in Hell, Johnny Bravo!p. 251
Got to Be Real: Mediating Gayness on Survivorp. 271
The Meaning of Real Lifep. 288
"Kiss Me Kat": Shakespeare, Big Brother, and the Taming of the Selfp. 303
Jamming Big Brother: Webcasting, Audience Intervention, and Narrative Activismp. 323
About the Contributorsp. 345
Indexp. 349
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814756874
ISBN-10: 0814756875
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 358
Published: 1st April 2004
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.64

Earn 209 Qantas Points
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