Kraidy and Sender's New Book on Reality Television

The Politics of Reality Television: Global Perspectives is the new book edited by Annenberg’s Marwan M. Kraidy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication, and Katherine Sender, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication. Barbie Zelizer, Ph.D., the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication, is the editor of the series of books, published by Routledge.

About the book:
Reality television is global. Transnational television companies and international distribution networks facilitate the worldwide circulation of popular shows; the 1990s in particular saw the growth of media companies that specialize in the development of reality television formats that are easily adaptable to local variations. While the industrial history of the global migrations of reality television is well established, there has been less consideration of the theoretical and methodological implications of this expansion.

The Politics of Reality Television encompasses an international selection of expert contributions who consider the specific ways these migrations test the understanding of, and means of investigating, reality television across the globe. The book addresses a wide range of topics, including:

  • The global circulation and local adaptation of reality television formats and franchises
  • The production of fame and celebrity around hitherto "ordinary" people
  • The transformation of self under the public eye
  • The tensions between fierce loyalties to local representatives and imagined communities bonding across regional and ethnic divides, and
  • The struggle over the meanings and values of reality television across a range of national, regional, gender, class and religious contexts.

The Politics of Reality Television proposes ways in which scholars can think through the international dimensions of reality television in the context of highly mobile media, politics, and publics. It offers a global, comparative examination of reality television alongside empirical research about the genre, its producers and consumers.

The book is an outcome of a December 2008 day-long symposium at the Annenberg School for Communication, titled “Real Worlds: Global Perspectives on the Politics of Reality Television.” The Symposium was sponsored by the Annenberg Scholars Program in Culture and Communication.

This book will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students on a range of Media and Television Studies courses, particularly those on the globalization of television and media, and reality television.

This is the latest in a series of works that emerged from Scholars Program symposiums. A previous title, The Changing Faces of Journalism: Tabloidization, Technology and Truthiness (Routledge 2009) was edited by Prof. Zelizer and is the outgrowth of a December 2007 Symposium at Annenberg.