Senior Project Advisor
reality TV; surveillance; authenticity; literature review; content analysis
Reality TV is a ubiquitous form of entertainment with many sub-genres that explore and address a variety of sociological issues. However, the meta-narrative of reality TV is not without its own issues. The present project addresses one such theme at the heart of reality TV: constant surveillance and the culture of surveillance it fosters. Surveillance is a key factor in reality TV and shapes many aspects of the genre, such as the creation of parasocial relationships, how reality and authenticity are constructed within reality TV, and how contestants interact with each other. The implicit and explicit acceptance of continual surveillance permeates reality TV and informs how viewers approach surveillance culture in their lives. This essay investigates the creation of surveillance culture, how it functions within reality TV, and the impact of its side effects on the lives of those involved with the genre. This in quiry is part literature review (regarding sociological theories of surveillance and previous sociological insights into reality TV) and part content analysis (analyzing seasons one and two of the UK reality TV show Love Island). Together, the sections highlight how the constant surveillance within reality TV shows reifies surveillance culture and its impacts, both on and off the screen.
Beaty, Laura Sarie, "“It’s Love Island, Not Friend Island”: Authenticity and Surveillance in Reality TV, a Literature Review and Content Analysis" (2021). WWU Honors Program Senior Projects. 456.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Reality television programs; Surveillance in motion pictures; Television personalities
essays; comparative literature
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