At one point in time, southern reality television programs focused on what is known as “southern hospitality,” but in the recent years have strayed away from this concept to show viewers the negative stereotypes of the South. On one hand, the South represents graciousness, harmony, and easy living. South Alabama Jaguars On the other hand, the South is full of violence, hatred, cruelty, and ignorance. Persistent and curious infatuation with reality television is dangerous because it continues to extend the negative stereotypes associated with the people of the South. Southern reality television programs pressure to create entertainment, and are forced to construct individual and cultural identities that are perhaps not representative of reality for popular culture. Reality Television Programs are exploiting a segment of society at the expense of real understanding and in the process, relegating an entire cultural community to a singular distorted vision. “Reality television is a reflection of the concept of culture as commodity… Culture has become a commodity, up for sale to any consumer willing to pay top dollar not for products, but for experiences.” (Miller 7)
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Television is one of the most highly centralized institutions within our culture due to commercialism, government control and the need for a common center in a highly fragmental society. In reality television, television industries attempt to portray a constructed reality, one in which the reality will satisfy the wants and needs of the audience. South Alabama Jaguars “What ties together all the various formats of the reality TV genre is their professed abilities to more fully provide viewers an unmediated, voyeuristic, and yet often playful look into what might be called the entertaining real.” (Murray 5) This fix… … middle of paper … …in series as compared, Duck Dynasty and Swamp People. These shows portray Louisiana as having a bunch of bearded swamp people who wrestle or kill alligators for fun. In reality, Louisiana citizens are far more diverse and educated than such portrayals would indicate. These industries put southerners in a different culture where they do not wear suits or ties, further increasing the divide between cultures of others. Even though these shows may be watched exclusively for entertainment value, they are constructing clear, unflattering and unappreciated southern, economic and cultural identities for Louisiana citizens.
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These identities and negative stereotypes need to be looked at and revised to release the divide being created between the south and the rest of America. Reality television should be realistic, not the prejudice version of a television industries’ beliefs. The first television shows aired in 1948 it was a TV series called Candid Camera by Allen Funt. Have you ever wondered what attracts millions of Americans each week to watch this cultural phenomenon know as “reality TV”? South Alabama Jaguars “Reality television episodes have increased to 57% of all television shows that can be found on your TV guides.” Big Brother was one of the first more successful and most viewed reality television show, “When it first started Big Brother would air five times a week and could be viewed on the web 24 hours a day” (Reiss.) So the question many viewers keep asking themselves is should we really be watching reality TV? There are three main reasons that keep viewers entertained in this phenomenon.