Is Reality TV Neoliberal?

Is Reality TV Neoliberal? Reality TV is a distinctive mode of television programming that has developed exclusively in the last twenty years, raising the question of how it is of its times. Reality shows have often been described as “neoliberal” in their logic. They typically present participants as self-responsible enterprising authors of their own lives in ways consistent with the valorization of market relations by neoliberal theorists. I argue for and expand on this interpretation, arguing the role of the “ordinary people” they feature largely is to perform competitive entrepreneurial subjectivity without expectation of fair recompense, but in the hope of attaining extraordinary rewards. Hereby media industries construct narrative worlds consistent with the economic basis on which they employ, but also with recent neoliberal political economy that has been marked by the decline of collective social support and rising inequality among citizens. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Television & New Media SAGE

Is Reality TV Neoliberal?

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2017
ISSN
1527-4764
eISSN
1552-8316
D.O.I.
10.1177/1527476417728377
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Reality TV is a distinctive mode of television programming that has developed exclusively in the last twenty years, raising the question of how it is of its times. Reality shows have often been described as “neoliberal” in their logic. They typically present participants as self-responsible enterprising authors of their own lives in ways consistent with the valorization of market relations by neoliberal theorists. I argue for and expand on this interpretation, arguing the role of the “ordinary people” they feature largely is to perform competitive entrepreneurial subjectivity without expectation of fair recompense, but in the hope of attaining extraordinary rewards. Hereby media industries construct narrative worlds consistent with the economic basis on which they employ, but also with recent neoliberal political economy that has been marked by the decline of collective social support and rising inequality among citizens.

Journal

Television & New MediaSAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2018

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