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Reality Television's Construction of Ordinary People: Class-Based and Nonelitist Articulations of Ordinary People and Their Discursive Affordances
2014 (English)In: A Companion to Reality Television / [ed] Laurie Ouellette, Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014, 345-366 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)Text
Abstract [en]

The concept of ordinary people plays a key role the analytical reflections about the genre of reality TV, in all its diversity and hybridity, where this concept is used to capture the presence of this virtually ungraspable category of human subjects that features so dominantly in these reality TV practices. This article focuses on the concept of ordinary people itself, and analyze its discursive construction. Apart from investigating the nature of the articulations of ordinary people in reality TV, this chapter poses the question how the articulation of the concept of ordinary people contributes to a set of power struggles in reality TV and in society in general, which are focussed on the (de-)validation of ordinary people as relevant societal actors. Behind this question lurks the idea that reality TV is one of the many symbolic battlegrounds for the democratic struggle about the (increased) equality between societal classes, and between societal elites and non-elites. Through this analysis we can see the simultaneity of the articulations of ordinary people-as-lower-class and ordinary people-as-non-elite offering two sets of repertoires which are invoked, sometimes one after the other, sometimes together, cross-feeding each other, contradicting each other, strengthening each other, in order to give meaning to the signifier ordinary people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. 345-366 p.
Keyword [en]
discourse theory, elite, oridinary people, subject position
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-276333ISBN: 978-0-470-65927-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-276333DiVA: diva2:902518
Available from: 2016-02-11 Created: 2016-02-11 Last updated: 2016-02-11

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