• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Reality TV and Culture Industires

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Criticism and respect disappear in the culture industry; the former becomes a mechanical expertise, the latter is succeeded by a shallow cult of personalities' (Adorno and Horkheimer, The Culture Industries). To what extent does the rise of reality TV support Adorno and Horkheimer's statement? Within this essay I will explore the genre of Reality TV by drawing upon Adorno & Horkheimer's theory on the 'culture industry'. Firstly, I will begin by defining Reality TV, looking at its historical, cultural and social significance alongside the controversies surrounding the genre. Secondly I will investigate Adorno and Horkheimer's statement by looking at the morality and standardization that exist within Reality TV, highlighting the 'attributed' celebrity ('celetoid'), voyeurism and general erosion of public and private spheres. Over the last decade, we have witnessed a dramatic shift in the popularity of television shows. Primetime TV was generally reserved for soap operas, series dramas and comedy shows. However, the digital revolution gave room for channels to be more flexible in their screening, with more channels offering different possibilities for the direction of popular culture. This led to the general rise of Reality TV and the desertion of blatant escapism in dramas and soap operas to a less carefully constructed form of escapism through judgment and interactivity. ...read more.

Middle

You Decide!" and Pop Idol's " But this time...You Choose..." (Holmes, 2004). The consumer has the power of judgment and becomes the critic. This gives the viewer a sense of control over their viewing that no other type of show can give them and by participating they become part of something on a much larger scale than just TV. They could be the reason why someone gets a record deal, or wins �75,000. Furthermore, we can begin to see that this interactivity and appeal expands into social grounds. It becomes a shared viewing experience between a whole nation, much like football and other national events. It is further supported by coverage across a range of mediums and often shows like 'Big Brother' and 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!' get front-page headlines. This makes Reality TV as common a topic of discussion as the week's current affairs (Bratich, 2006). And this kind of need to know mindless popular culture for the sake of being socially 'in the know' is part of why Adorno and Horkheimer were so critical. For the second half of this essay I shall look at what Adorno & Horkheimer believed and explain how this and their statement relates to Reality TV. ...read more.

Conclusion

The culture industry numbs this sense but at the same time will claim to promote it. So when people think they are being critical of what the industry produces, they are really only criticizing through the industry's guidelines of what they should be critical about. In respect to civil liberties, it seems that the nation moves as one passive body that takes an earthquake to wake up. With all this in mind I feel that Adorno & Horkheimer's statement on criticism becoming a 'mechanical expertise' within the culture industry is supported fairly well by Reality TV. This is because the genre acts as a method of desensitization to critical values that one might hold. In doing so, it increases the likelihood of the occurrence of 'popular culture criticism'. In conclusion it can be said that Adorno and Horkheimer's statement is generally supported on the whole by the rise of Reality TV through hidden ethical considerations that lead to a lack in analysis. Reality TV appears to have eroded the distinction between private and public spheres and it seems that we may be at a crucial pivot where our own integrity and freedom is being threatened as the concept of the culture industry can now act as an insight into the behavior of the mass audience and the reality of globalization. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Paper-based media studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Paper-based media studies essays

  1. Representation of Black Women in Vogue UK: Is Fashion Racist?

    Ethnic minority women are subjected to other forms of repression by the media. Specifically, minority women are excluded from much mainstream media, and, when included at all, they are often portrayed according to racially specific gender stereotypes.' (Baker, 2005) The 'Summer Nights' pictorial (Fig 14)

  2. What has Roland Barthes' idea of myth contributed to our understanding of popular culture?

    Post-Structuralists rejected the idea of an underlying structure upon which meaning can sit, unchanged. Meaning is always in process. Within post-structuralism is the belief that the situation is more complex than Saussure's theory of the signifier, signified and the sign suggests.

  1. Ascribed celebrity/achieved celebrity

    Who is an Ascribed celebrity? this type of celebrity is 'predetermined' that is someone who is a celebrity not by choice but by blood lineage, though the person may choose to add or subtract from their celebrity status by virtue of their voluntary actions but the fact still remains that

  2. To what extent does the print-media influence young people into smoking, in relation to ...

    At eighteen, Elizabeth Jagger seems to have defied her father, with the rebellious act of rekindling her relationship. The article suggests this rebellious element when it reads: "...Elizabeth seems...determined to rekindle her relationship..." Now. (2003). "She had dumped the...actor last year after pressure from her Rolling Stone father and said

  1. research paper Anti-Asian racism seems like to be still alive in today's America with ...

    The Model Minority myth: Asian Americans are believed to have overcome racism because they have succeeded socially, economically, and educationally without obtaining special programs or making violent disagreements with the majority race in the society. Although the idea is that any group of ethnic minority can succeed in America as

  2. How can we account for the ubiquity of the celebrity in today's media? A ...

    A good example of this is looking at David Beckham. His influence in the media has affected many aspiring children whishing to be footballers and the same can be seen in an example of Richard Branson inspiring individuals to live out their ambitions and become successful entrepreneurs.

  1. Commentary on Roch Sulima's book Antropologia codziennosci (Anthropology of everyday life).

    At the same time, however, the author stresses that the fictional and delusiveness mass culture is a response to a real social need: the desire for liberation from alienation, in which a man throws into everyday life and work. Various forms of mass culture fill free time, offering man relaxation, relieving the tension, relaxation and sedation.

  2. This paper examines the influence that media has on adolescent females feelings towards their ...

    This acceptance of the media?s presentation of the ideal body image can result in more than just lowered self-esteem and confidence. Attempts to achieve the media?s vision of the ideal body form can lead to dangerous and health harming actions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work