By Laurie Ouellette
Combining state-of-the-art theories of tradition and executive with programming examples—including Todd TV, Survivor, and American Idol—Better residing via truth TV strikes past the demonstrated matters of political financial system and cultural experiences to conceptualize television's evolving position within the modern period.
- A significant textbook at the influence of truth and way of life tv on today’s programming, and on broader social, cultural and political trends
- Draws on a number of examples from The Apprentice and American Idol to Extreme Makeover and Wife Swap
- Argues that fact tv teaches audience to observe, inspire, increase, rework and safeguard themselves within the identify of freedom, company, and private responsibility
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Extra resources for Better Living through Reality TV: Television and Post-Welfare Citizenship
The assumption that we must all maximize our greatest asset - ourselves - has accelerated alongside such trends as labor outsourcing, branding, lifelong education as a substitute for job security, and corporate reinvention. In this uncertain context, we argue in Chapter 3, the makeover is offered a lifestyle game whose rules can be learned and applied. Competitions like America's Next Top Model and I Want to Be a Hilton take this a step further by bringing competition into the mix and documenting the emotional trauma and resentment of those contestants who fail to assemble themselves as flexible and enterprising commodities.
In Bush's address to the US Senate commending them for support of his "faith-based" legislation in 2001, he stated that the initiative would "encourage more charitable giving and rally the armies of compassion that exist in communities all across America" (emphasis added). The contradiction of a FBCI in a "war on terror" has been that only certain religious and communitarian programs - those that have "proper" religious and political authority - are considered legitimate by this agency. If a primary objective of public-private partnerships and volunteer service networks during the 1990s was achieving greater efficiency by privatizing welfare, casting government in a supportive role, helping citizens take care of themselves, then the institution of a Homeland Security after September 11, 2001 emphasizes security through "publicprivate partnership," with "Homeland Security" as the ridgepole and primary rationalization for all other forms of social welfare.
Today's popular reality TV addresses the viewer differently. The citizen is now conceived as an individual whose most pressing obligation to society is to empower her or himself privately. TV assists by acting as a visible component of a dispersed network of supporting technologies geared to self-help and self-actualization. Ordinary people are now welcomed on screen, providing subject matter, "case studies," points of identification, and sources of disobedience and conflict. Experts are more apt to characterize themselves as "self-made" authorities trading in applied forms of business, lifestyle, and therapeutic knowledge.