In the News: More Scandal!

•April 7, 2012 • 15 Comments

 Our next assignment: News & media coverage page (due April 18) For this page, please write a few sentences about what types of themes are always portrayed in news stories about your show. Present an annotated bibliography of the top 10-20 news stories about your show. Be sure to include in this chronological order: date, author, article title, Newspaper name, Volume/section, and page numbers. Include a hyperlink to this story (no http addresses) and write a one-sentence description about what the story is about.

Also, for students who are willing to do their final presentation (7-10 minutes) early, you can start as soon as the next class.


Week 12: The Sociology of Reality Television

•April 1, 2012 • 14 Comments

This week in class, we will be discussing the sociological messages in reality television, and in our shows in particular. I will present an overview of Jennifer Pozner’s book, Reality Bites Back, and relate it to the shows we are examining in class.

You can check out my presentation of Pozner’s book and our class content here.

Your Sociological Messages webpage is due before class. I would like you to all be ready to share your page and insights with the class.

Weeks 10 & 11: Audience

•March 10, 2012 • 15 Comments

Over the next two weeks, we will be examining the issue of audience and fan bases for our shows. On March 21, we will read and discuss the chapter 8 “Media/Society: chapter eight: Active Audiences and the Construction of Meaning,” 255-284 on Bb. Be sure to print out the article, and be ready to discuss it in-depth during class. Our student presenters include: Jordan Loftus and Matt Decker. On March 28th, our reading includes the article by Huff: “Working for a Living,” 143-156 (Bb) and our student presenters will be Aaron Race & Zach Griffiths. Your “Audience” webpage is due before class on March 28th. This page should include the following information: who is the targeted demographic for the show? Who does the show actually reach? What are statistics on Nielsen ratings, Where do fans get together online to talk about the show? Be sure to write approximately 500 words, include citations of academic articles (assigned or otherwise), links, and visuals. Be sure to edit your website, make it academic in tone, and be ready to present it during class.

Week 7: Reality Television Products

•February 27, 2012 • 13 Comments

WEBSITE: This week in class, your “Products” webpage is due. This page should include as much as possible of the following information: What products are placed in the show? What product commercials are shown during the show? What products are advertised in conjunction with the show? What products do the characters sponsor in or outside of the show? Any sponsorships? Why kind of socio-economic lifestyle is this show promoting?

READING: In class, we will discuss four assigned articles. Our discussion leaders have been assigned to the following articles. For our discussion leaders, please try and find a 15 minute clip of your show that can match up with the assigned article. I would like all students to bring a one-page summary of the article you are going to discuss (this does not need to relate to your show). The website may help you in this area.

PRESENTING: I would like all students to be ready to share their “products” page with the class.
We will also be reviewing this Prezi about Reality Television and Product Placement. Feel free to use these video clips within your presentations on the readings.

I have placed you in groups to discuss the readings, show clips of the shows mentioned in the article, and relate your show to the article, if relevant. You should read the article and do some research before class and be ready to present your findings in class. Your group will summarize the article, show clips that the article mentions, and come up with sociological observations about the meanings of these shows. How do the articles relate to advertisement issues? Create discussion questions for the class to answer. Once your group presents, your group leader will show their 15-minute clip of their show. All students should be ready to also present their “products” webpage in addition.

Group 1:
PRESENTER: Julianne Malone
GROUP: Rosemary Himmelmann, Allison Barbini, Aaron Race, Zach Griffiths
READING: Pozner, chapter four: This is Not My Beautiful House! Class Anxiety, Hyperconsumerism, and Mockery of the Poor
-         WATCH: Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Group 2:
PRESENTER Brittani Griffin
GROUP: Brian Nellis, Andreanna Dilberto, Matt Decker, Max Ospina,
READING: Pozner 2: Get Comfortable with My Flaw Finder: Women’s Bodies as Women’s Worth, 60-96
Huff: Altered Reality: the Makeover Craze, 67-77 (Bb)
WATCH: What Not to Wear

Group 3:
Presenter Meagan Bowker
GROUP: Jordan, Olivia Betulia, Lakeisha Armstrong, Vanessa Carlone
READING: Huff: Love is in the Air, 107-119
WATCH: Millionaire Matchmaker

Week 6: Casting Reality Television

•February 15, 2012 • 13 Comments

For our sixth week in class, we will be writing about and analyzing the casting process for our shows.

Our next webpage is called “Characters.” (Demographics of Participants) This page is due on February 22. It should include the following information: How were these characters selected (casting call, model agency recruitment, ad in paper?) How many applied? What was the process? How were these few characters selected? Are the producers going for stereotypical and belligerent characters? Who are the characters? Backgrounds of race, gender, class, sexuality, disability? On different seasons are characters similar? What is interesting about them? What types of statements and phrases come out of their mouth?

In class, we will have three students presenters: Lakeisha Armstrong & Allison Barbini & Olivia Betulia discuss their show and the assigned reading for that week.

Please read the assigned chapters and be ready to discuss how the articles related to your show. (If they didn’t, please tell us about an article you found that did relate.)

  • READING: Pozner, chapter three: Bitches and Morons and Skanks, Oh My! What Reality TV Teaches Us about Women (text)
  • READING: Huff: Casting: Finding the Freaks, the Geeks, and the Stars, 31-43 (Bb)


Week 5: Tattoo Reality/Television

•February 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This week in class, we will be joined by some tattoo artists and collectors who will talk with us about the ways in which reality television has impacted the tattoo industry. We should definitely keep in mind, as we analyze our television shows, how these representations affect the populations represented. Please view a tattoo show this week and come up with some questions for our guest speakers. I made a list of all the shows I could find here, please select one to view. If you can find other shows not on the list, please let me know so I can add them. Please do work on your “gender page” for your website. We will review these the following week in class.

News: Youth Are Watching, but Less Often on TV

•February 9, 2012 • 1 Comment

According to a NY Times article: Television is America’s No. 1 pastime, with an average of four hours and 39 minutes consumed by every person every day. More young people are turning to devices besides TVs, like tablets, to watch video. But more and more young people are tuning in elsewhere. Americans ages 12 to 34 are spending less time in front of TV sets, even as those 35 and older are spending more, according to research that will be released on Thursday by Nielsen, a company that tracks media use.