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Among scholars, as well as in the media at large, it is unusual to discuss issues of children and reality television. Extant academic research on children and reality TV is narrow in focus and by no means abundant. What does exist, however, illuminates both reality show representations and lived experiences of child participants. This small body of research generally concludes that representations of children in reality programming mirror patterns of representation in other types of programming by drawing on stereotypes related to race and gender. Additionally, examinations of children in reality shows find that these programs tend to reify the hegemonic construction of childhood as a time of egocentric dependence and training for an adult-life oriented toward middle-class success and economic prosperity. Analyses also suggest ...

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