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Reality TV: The Work of Being Watched (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture) Paperback – October 7, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (October 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742527484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742527485
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Why has the burst of interactivity celebrated by new media not led to an increase in democracy? In his brilliant analysis of reality television, Mark Andrejevic convincingly argues that surveillance accompanies the fun and flexibility of networked communications. Just like the faux 'stars' of reality TV, we seem all too willing to be watched, to see <U>and be seen<U>. This book is a major contribution to a critical theory of communicative capitalism.... (Dean, Jodi)

This is a very thoughtful and perceptive study of reality TV, tracing its inscription between the technological logics of surveillance and interactivity, on the one hand, and the changing cultures of celebrity and consumption, on the other. Mark Andrejevic's account succeeds in moving beyond the anatomy of a new media form to provide a critical analysis of broader social and cultural dynamics in contemporary society. (Kevin Robins)

Mark Andrejevic has written one of the most original, sophisticated, and important accounts of television in years. Its originality and importance is precisely how it explains TV by moving beyond TV--to understand TV through the Internet, to rethink the current mantra of 'interactivity,' and to locate the latest televisual trend ('reality TV') within the long histories of surveillance that have shaped the current 'surveillance economy' and the current applications of video and other communication technologies. Through this project, Andrejevic distinguishes himself as one of the most noteworthy young scholars of media and culture. (Hay, James)

Why has the burst of interactivity celebrated by new media not led to an increase in democracy? In his brilliant analysis of reality television, Mark Andrejevic convincingly argues that surveillance accompanies the fun and flexibility of networked communications. Just like the faux 'stars' of reality TV, we seem all too willing to be watched, to see and be seen. This book is a major contribution to a critical theory of communicative capitalism. (Dean, Jodi)

About the Author

Mark Andrejevic is assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa.

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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
Greeting Big Brother With Open Arms
By EMILY EAKIN
Published: January 17, 2004
For 50 years, Big Brother was an unambiguous symbol of malignant state power, totalitarianism's all-seeing eye. Then Big Brother became a hip reality television show, in which 10 cohabiting strangers submitted to round-the-clock camera monitoring in return for the chance to compete for $500,000.
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That transformation is telling, says Mark Andrejevic, a professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa at Iowa City. Today, more than twice as many young people apply to MTV's "Real World" show than to Harvard, he says. Clearly, to a post-cold-war generation of Americans, the prospect of living under surveillance is no longer scary but cool.
Media critics have frequently portrayed the reality show craze in unflattering terms, as a sign of base voyeurism (on the part of viewers) and an unseemly obsession with fame (on the part of participants). But Mr. Andrejevic's take, influenced by the theories of Theodor Adorno and Michel Foucault, is at once darker and more subtle.
Reality shows glamorize surveillance, he writes, presenting it "as one of the hip attributes of the contemporary world," "an entree into the world of wealth and celebrity" and even a moral good. His new book, "Reality TV: The Work of Being Watched" (Rowman & Littlefield), is peppered with quotes from veterans of "The Real World," "Road Rules" and "Temptation Island," rhapsodizing about on-air personal growth and the therapeutic value of being constantly watched. As Josh on "Big Brother" explains, "Everyone should have an audience."
At the same time, Mr.
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