Reacting to Reality Television: Performance, Audience and Value
Doing Critical Social Research Seminar
Speaker: Professor Helen Wood
This session discusses the research findings from this new book by Helen Wood and Beverley Skeggs which was undertaken as part of the ESRC Identities and Social Action programme. The unremitting explosion of reality television across the schedules has become a sustainable global phenomenon generating considerable popular and political fervour. But how do we react to so many people breaking down, fronting up, tearing apart, dominating, empathising, humiliating and seemingly laying bare their raw emotion for our entertainment? Do we feel sad that others are sad? Or relieved that our circumstances might be better? As reality television extends into the experiences of the everyday, it makes dramatic and often shocking the mundane aspects of our intimate relations, inviting us as viewers into a volatile arena of mediated morality.