Reality television in new worlds

Marwan M. Kraidy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Politics of Reality Television stages two conversations. In the first, an established literature grounded in the critique of neoliberalism and located in the US-UK nexus converses with an emerging literature on the social and political lives of reality television in the Global South. In the second, empirically based studies enter in dialogue with a first wave of largely theoretical discussions of reality television. Through these two exchanges, this volume captures not only the expansion of a television genre beyond industrialized Western countries, but attends to a gamut of thematic, conceptual and epistemological challenges that arise when the subject and methods of study cross into new terrains. Reality television reflects, more conspicuously than other genres, the multiple entanglements of temporalities, scales and narratives that characterize the contemporary media industries: the convergence between “old” and “new” media, new relationships between viewer, text, and context, a fluid articulation of “global” and “local” in the context of the global march of market fundamentalism and local reactions to neoliberal ideology and practices. In a context of privatization, free trade, and media and worldwide liberalization of media and telecommunications, a comparative examination of reality television enables a renewed appreciation of the complicated economic, political and cultural implications of convergent media industries. By examining changing social relations empirically and across several sites, this volume addresses the ways in which the social and political lives of reality television in France, India, South Africa, the ex-Yugoslavia, Norway, Singapore, Australia and Arab countries, at once re-affirm and challenge approaches and themes forged by scholars studying reality shows in the United States and United Kingdom. As it suggests ways for re-tooling our approaches to reality television, The Politics of Reality Television does not aim to stipulate a definitive agenda for the globalization of reality television studies; rather, our objective is to initiate a process of inquiry that takes the globalization of reality television studies as an opportunity to re-think broader connections between media and politics, historically and globally - reality television as a prism refracting the complexities of the contemporary global formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Politics of Reality Television
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781136913891
ISBN (Print)9780415588249
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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