The Politics of Reality Television: Global Perspectives

By Marwan M. Kraidy; Katherine Sender | Go to book overview

The Politics of Reality Television
Reality television is global. Transnational television companies and international distribution networks facilitate the worldwide circulation of popular shows; the 1990s in particular saw the growth of media companies that specialize in the development of reality television formats that are easily adaptable to local variations. While the industrial history of the global migrations of reality television is well established, there has been less consideration of the theoretical and methodological implications of this expansion.The Politics of Reality Television encompasses an international selection of expert contributions which consider the specific ways these migrations test our understanding of, and means of investigating, reality television across the globe. The book addresses a wide range of topics, including:
the global circulation and local adaptation of reality television formats and franchises
the production of fame and celebrity around hitherto “ordinary” people
the transformation of self under the public eye
the tensions between fierce loyalties to local representatives and imagined communities bonding across regional and ethnic divides
the struggle over the meanings and values of reality television across a range of national, regional, gender, class and religious contexts.

The Politics of Reality Television proposes ways in which we can think through the international dimensions of reality television in the context of highly mobile media, politics, and publics. It offers a global, comparative examination of reality television alongside empirical research about the genre, its producers and consumers.

This book will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students on a range of Media and Television Studies courses, particularly those on the globalization of television and media, and reality television.

Marwan M. Kraidy is Associate Professor of Global Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Reality Television and Arab Politics: Contention in Public Life (2009) and Hybridity, or, The Cultural Logic of Globalization (2005).

Katherine Sender is Associate Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Her books include Business not Politics: The Making of the Gay Market (2004) and Makeover Television and its Audiences (forthcoming).

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