“Reality” Shows ~ Sociologist’s Perspective? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-18-2005, 12:09 PM
 
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Nothing to add to the current conversation... but one thing that I found very interesting about reality shows is mensturation. I just read an article in Bitch magazine about it. No one mensturates. They show puke, buckets of piss and shit (the Colonial House)... BUT no one mensturates. There is never a discussion. On survivor, last season someone wanted to bring tampons as their luxury item and I geuss it is something already included in the medical case... but we don't see this on the show at all.

Just a little OT thought....

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Old 02-22-2005, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I’ll be sure to mention that to my brother, wemoon. He’s pitching a realty show right now. I don’t know how he’ll work menstruation into a comedy courtroom reality show but if anyone can it’ll be him :LOL

Bumping…

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Old 02-22-2005, 07:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by levar
Yes, "Reality TV" is modern day "messaging." [advertising, marketing, etc]
: : :

As someone that was on a reality t.v. show, I have been following this thread with interest. Levar's quote hits the nail on the head (for me) as to why someone would want to be on these type of shows. For me it was not about "fame," or compensation - it was definitely about messaging. It is a way to get your message to the masses even if you are just a "normal" person. Now, I am sure this does apply to everyone, but it did for me.
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Old 02-23-2005, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What was your message Caurie? Would you tell us about the show? What it was like? I'd love to know about the editing first hand!

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Old 02-23-2005, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
What was your message Caurie? Would you tell us about the show? What it was like? I'd love to know about the editing first hand!
Sure My husband and I were on TLC's "A Wedding Story." It's one of the older, original reality t.v. shows. Actually, I don't think its on the air anymore now. It's not to win anything, it is more of a documentary type reality show that follows a real couple on their wedding journey and focuses on their relationship. I really wanted to be on it because I have had a long battle with anorexia and recovering from an abusive relationship. I remember watching the show when I was in college - starving myself and being abused by my boyfriend - and wishing I could find someone who treated me as well as the men on the show seemed to treat their fiances. My boyfriend at the time used to taunt me that I would never find someone who treated me like that. Anyhow, as corny as it sounds, the show was a catalyst in making me realize just how bad my relationship was and breaking up with him. Fast forward four years later and I was in a relationship with a man who treated me with love, respect, and dignity. I was also making great strides in my battle against anorexia. When my now husband proposed I applied to be on the show partly as a "See, you were wrong" message to my ex-boyfriend and also to send a message to other women struggling with anorexia and/or abusive relationships that recovery is possible. Hope this makes sense - my son is climbing all over me trying to get the keyboard so my thoughts are a bit dicey.
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Old 02-23-2005, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, thank you. You remind me that I also had a friend on that show as well. (They were selected for a collection ~ Met at the Renaissance Festival, he proposed during her play off Broadway and they drove off on a white motorcycle, if you followed thoes shows) .

Somehow the types of show that and the ones like it (like the one about birth) seemed different to me. Maybe it was the budget or that the need for ‘drama’ was lower…I don’t know. Also, the crew did seem to me less involved. Yea, they selected the particpants edited but they weren’t creating the scenario or trying to change it, yk?

Maybe I saw those as more documentary shows than ‘reality tv’. Does that sound right?

It’s interesting that you mention talking about anorexia. That makes sense to me.

I also imagine that some of the homebirths on the birthing show were intended to get some media attention towards homebirth.

I wish I could say the same for the “AP” or “NFL” mama on Wifeswap. I didn’t see the show but she sounded tragic.

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Old 02-23-2005, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What I think of as the original reality show is MTV's The Real World.

Anyone?

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Old 02-23-2005, 08:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
What I think of as the original reality show is MTV's The Real World.

Anyone?

Yes, me too :
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
What I think of as the original reality show is MTV's The Real World.

Anyone?

That, or Cops.
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Old 02-24-2005, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there any difference in terminology or style with those shows that “‘follow ‘real life’” and the ones where the members of the show actively interfere?

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Old 02-24-2005, 04:32 PM
 
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I think there are a number of different factors with reality tv depending on the show.

I would call the factors :

Humiliation
Drama
Voyeurism
Competition


Humiliation is a factor present in pretty much all reality shows. At some point the show will be structured in a way that is designed to humiliate the participants.

For example, in the show Biggest Loser, the participants had to strip down to bike shorts (and a sports bra for the ladies) and be weighed on a huge scale. They also had to vote off one person each week, which is one of the situations used to create Drama.

Another example is Wife Swap. When the wives present their new rules, they always say something judgmental about the existing family. I'm sure they are encouraged to do this by the producers because it is so consistent. That's definitely Humiliation.

Drama is, of course, creating situations that encourage temper flare-ups and disagreement which people love to watch.

Voyeurism is a huge component IMO in shows like Wife Swap, SuperNanny, Trading Spouses, etc. We are fascinated by other people and what they do, how they live, what their families are like, etc. One of the articles I link below calls this "reaffirms ideals of conformity and morality".

Then there's competition, which is self-explanatory. We love to watch competitions.


The two components of these shows that really bother me (and I have to admit I watch a few of them) are the Humiliation and Drama factors.

Here are a couple of interesting links I found :

http://sociology.arts.unsw.edu.au/co...ct9_oheads.pdf


Criminologist says, "Reality TV could damage society"
http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/caffairs/201mar8.htm
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