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Fluid Boundaries in Reality TV - Essay Example

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Fluid Boundaries in Reality TV

Reality TV constructs the boundary between the ordinary and extraordinary by depicting and contributing to ambiguities between reality and fiction. Bourdon explores the changing definitions of reality TV in “Self-Despotism: Reality Television and the New Subject of Politics”. He notes that while the media industry was initially slow to label the genre of reality TV, scholars used the label to help them analyse the growing social interest in it: “Among academics, reality television is an ideal notion for theorists like Jason Mittell who seek to...use them simply as one element of a set of wider ‘discursive practices’ that help to categorize texts”. The category launches and supports scholarly inquiries. Reality TV, however, has changed dramatically since the anthropologist, Margaret Mead, called attention to the new Public Broadcasting System series, An American Family, which captured the lives of the Louds, a middle-class California family. Mead describes the show as “a new kind of art for,” an innovative form that can be “as significant as the invention of drama or the novel”. Sanneh, in the article “The Reality Principle,” stresses that since An American Family, reality TV has become an “amorphous category” because of emerging new forms of TV shows that depict themselves as reality TV, such as What Not to Wear and The Apprentice. She is concerned of the “reality” in some of these current reality TV shows, when assumptions about beauty are based on fiction ...Show more
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Summary

Boundaries between the ordinary and extraordinary are always changing and shifting.The aim of the paper is to answer the question "How does reality TV construct the boundary between the ordinary and extraordinary?"Reality TV creates a flexible and dynamic boundary,where the audience can hardly see the differences…
Fluid Boundaries in Reality TV
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