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Better Living through Reality TV: Television and Post-Welfare Citizenship

Better Living through Reality TV: Television and Post-Welfare Citizenship

Laurie Ouellette, James Hay

ISBN: 978-1-405-13440-8

Feb 2008, Wiley-Blackwell

264 pages

In Stock

$115.95

Description

Combining cutting-edge theories of culture and government with programming examples—including Todd TV, Survivor, and American IdolBetter Living through Reality TV moves beyond the established concerns of political economy and cultural studies to conceptualize television's evolving role in the contemporary period.

  • A major textbook on the impact of reality and lifestyle television on today’s programming, and on broader social, cultural and political trends
  • Draws on a range of examples from The Apprentice and American Idol to Extreme Makeover and Wife Swap
  • Argues that reality television teaches viewers to monitor, motivate, improve, transform and protect themselves in the name of freedom, enterprise, and personal responsibility
List of Illustrations.

Introduction.

1. Charity TV: Privatizing Care, Mobilizing Compassion.

2. TV Interventions: Personal Responsibility and Techniques of the Self.

3 Makeover TV: Labors of Reinvention.

4. TV and the Self-Defensive Citizen.

5. TV's Constitutions of Citizenship.

6. Playing TV's Democracy Game.

Notes.

Index.

“This book does not simply pay lip service to the claim that reality television is a democratic and populist force.” (Communication Booknotes Quarterly, Jan.-Mar. 2009)

Better Living presents Foucault’s concept of govermentality in an accessible way as the authors combine this theoretical concept with rich textual examples from various reality TV shows. In fact, one of the strengths of Better Living is the detailed examples that Ouellette and Hay provide to support their arguments.” (Journal of the Communication Inquiry)


  • A major textbook on the impact of reality and lifestyle television on today’s programming, and on broader social, cultural and political trends
  • Draws on a range of examples from The Apprentice and American Idol to Extreme Makeover and Wife Swap
  • Argues that reality television teaches viewers to monitor, motivate, improve, transform and protect themselves in the name of freedom, enterprise, and personal responsibility
  • Combines cutting-edge theories of culture and government with a dazzling and ever-proliferating collection of reality programming examples
  • Moves beyond the established concerns of political economy and cultural studies to capture television’s evolving role in the modern world