• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“An outstanding intervention in contemporary debates about the emancipatory potential of the new media landscape. While “power to the people” may be the rallying cry in an age of blogging, Web 2.0 interactivity, and reality TV, Turner cautions against confusing the “demotic” with democracy…Ordinary People and the Media is required reading for students and scholars navigating the shifting terrain of media and cultural studies.”

— Serra Tinic, University of Alberta, Canada

The ‘demotic turn’ is a term coined by Graeme Turner to describe the increasing visibility of the ‘ordinary person’ in the media today.

In this dynamic and insightful book he explores the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of the ‘everyday’ individual's willingness to turn themselves into media content through:

  • Celebrity culture
  • Reality TV
  • DIY websites
  • Talk radio
  • User-generated materials online

Analyzing the pervasiveness of celebrity culture, this book further develops the idea of the demotic turn as a means of examining the common elements in a range of ‘hot spots’ within media and cultural studies today.

Refuting the proposition that the demotic turn necessarily carries with it a democratizing politics, this book examines its political and cultural function in media production and consumption across many fields – including print and electronic news, current affairs journalism, and citizen and online journalism.

It examines these fields in order to outline a structural shift in what the western media has been doing lately, and to suggest that these media activities represent something much more fundamental than contemporary media fashion.

Reality TV and the Construction of Cultural Identities
Reality TV and the construction of cultural identities
The Cultural Function of Reality TV

Reality TV, regarded as an aggregation of its various iterations, may well be the most exorbitantly ‘noticed’ form of programming in television's history Operating, as it does, in such an ongoing, complex, and problematically mediated relation to its audience's everyday lives, reality TV might range from the provocative to the boring, the engaging or the repellent, but it can certainly attract attention. Indeed it has attracted its critics and its defenders in about equal measure. The formats usually included under this label have a quite varied relation to ‘the real’: some are highly narrativized and mediated, some are actually just updated game shows for whom ...

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