Blog Post No.2

THE KARDASHIANS/JENNER FAMILY

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This week’s topic in Pop Culture was reality television, yayyyy. I remember watching Jersey Shore, Quiero Mis Quince, Teen Mom, a couple others and my most recent, Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Within a few days or maybe weeks my mother, sister and I have watched maybe 100 episodes or a little more. Reading The History of Reality Television, by Madeleine Glouner, Cynthia Flores, and Alexandra Tomback, and Reality TV: A Blessing or A Curse?, by Carolin Lehmann, I do agree with everything they mentioned. I agree that Reality TV’s “exposure to sexual content and strong language gradually alters a consumer’s senses, which makes the use of violence and sexual references more acceptable (Lehmann).” As a consumer myself I know that I have caught on to certain phrases or foul words that are said on the shows that I watch. I am sure that I am not the only one. For children whose parents watch Reality TV and for the children/youth who watch it themselves I do believe that it is easy to fall into portraying and thinking something they see normalized in reality TV is acceptable for them to do or say. The way people refer to woman, treat and are seen is a big example. The word bitch and hoe being a word that is now regularly used. I also agree with what Lehmann mentioned though, you can’t put all the blame on a show/s because music is another way of mass media consumption and foul language and portrayal of woman and males is very graphic and strong. On a more positive outlook on Reality TV is that I also agree with what both Lehmann, Glouner, Flores and Tomback said about it bring attention and informing watchers about issues that happen and are continuously happening. There’s reality shows where homelessness, organizations that help certain issues, disasters, animal cruelty and many more problems that are being showed and addressed. I think this is a very smart way to inform and somewhat educate or plant the seed to become educated in certain issues that are being shown, all while captivating America because it is all somewhat tied to the consumers own reality. (Glouner, Flores and Tomback.) In The History of Reality Television they mention that people watch it because people feel like they can relate to their own lives when it comes to divorce, having an LGBT child or economic issues. Coming from my home, my mother and I, reality is just entertainment. We come together to watch The Kardashians knowing it’s scripted for different reasons but I watch for the drama of someone’s reality because scripted or not it’s their reality to live through and with the script,  my mother on the other side doesn’t care much for their life she watches for the scenery. She says she just likes to watch all the beautiful places the show passes and that watching the ridiculousness of their lives is just extra entertainment for her. Reality TV is entertainment, let it be. I like to believe that society as a whole or consumers as individuals are smart enough to believe what is real and what is not, and what affects society positively and what doesn’t. In the end people will believe, watch listen and say what they want to believe, watch, listen and say.

Lehmann, Carolin. (2012). Reality TV: A Blessing Or A Curse? An Analysis of the Influence of Reality TV on U.S. Society.

Glouner, M., Flores, C., & Tomback, A. The History of Reality Television. Retrieved from http://scalar.usc.edu/works/reality-tv/the-history-of-reality-television

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1 thought on “Blog Post No.2”

  1. Excellent job on your blog, and good observations. Yes, some of the studies coming out now are talking about the negative affect on teen behavior from shows like Jersey Shore etc.., but studies are also coming out showing the decrease in teen pregnancy because of shows like Teen Mom, which is awesome. I think we don’t realize how much our society changes and shifts because of television. As much as I am not sure if Caitlyn Jenner is really trans (Perhaps she is and its not a publicity stunt), she at least brings it to the forefront, and while it still may not be “normalized” in our culture, it is gaining more awareness and dialogue. We are changing, and this is good. My friend’s son is trans, and so many of my students, so I am glad that if Jenner can be a face to open the dialogue then that is powerful. Even going back to the early 1970s with shows like The Mary Tyler Moore show, which came out in 1972. In the show, Mary Tyler Moore is a divorced woman working as a broadcast journalist in a field filled with sexism, but she prevails. She, Rhoda, and Phyllis navigate the world of being single women working, and all of the issues around that which were so reflective of what was going on in the US at the time as Second Wave Feminism was just beginning to take root. I believe it was in the same year that Ms. Magazine came out with a picture of Wonder Woman on the cover. Television was shifting the perceptions of women, divorce, the workplace etc…Often television is ahead of our culture. I think the first gay character came out in 1970s television as well.

    As much as I am not a huge fan of the Kardashians, I do think we can see that even celebrities and the wealthy have their struggles. We tend to put them on a pedestal, but the truth is all people have struggles their’s are just different than ours. I would argue we could have a major discussion on how low self esteem plays into these women, and their need to be “seen”, and that is a very real social issue. They also have the celebrity power to open a healthy dialogue about body image since they struggle with their weight and figures.

    10/10

    Like

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