Danielle J. Lindemann, "True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us" (FSG, 2022)

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Why is reality TV important? In True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us (FSG, 2022), Danielle J. Lindemann, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Lehigh University, uses a sociological lens to examine the meaning and role of reality TV in contemporary society. In doing so, the analysis demonstrates how reality TV reinforces often narrow and conservative stereotypes about families, gender, class, race, and sexuality. At the same time, the book shows how reality TV can offer representations for excluded communities and is not consumed uncritically by audiences, even as reality TV is reflective of broader social inequalities. Drawing on classical and contemporary sociological theories and frameworks, the book uses a huge range of examples, from some of the early reality TV classics, through the huge hits, to the niche and less well-known shows that both reflect and shape how life is shown on TV. The book is essential reading across the social sciences and arts and humanities, as well as for anyone interested in television!

Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield.

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