‘PERCEPTION IS A FUNNY THING’: A DISCUSSION OF TALK IN REALITY TV

ABSTRACT

This essay addresses the issues surrounding different varieties of talk in a reality TV setting. Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills provides the text and case study scenes. Various scenes from the programme illustrate differing theories and practices of communication and impression management in a complex social environment. These theories include framing, secrets theory and co-management of information. The essay also discusses cultural differences which become apparent through talk and differing receptions of particular comments. Scenes from the programme and particular instances of talk have been chosen to give an understanding of how talk is used as a tactic and a way in which the characters position themselves in relation to each other and their own characters. In an environment which is under constant scrutiny, it is also of interest how disclosure and in-group information is managed. The essay finds that there is a genuine significance of talk in a reality TV setting beyond salacious comments designed for a viewing audience.

Keywords – Reality, Television, Talk, Interaction, Communication, Impression Management.

FULL TEXT

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