Two new books are out about reality television, both by Beverly Skeggs and Helen Wood. One is an edited collection and the other an authored book. I’ve had a look through the edited collection, which is full of fresh ideas on the relations between reality tv and social class. I’ve read quite of few of the articles on reality tv by Skeggs and Wood. The are really conceptually detailed. My favourite observation came in a short article when they argued that reality tv creates a ‘grammar of conduct’.
This is a link to an interview with Beverly Skeggs from 2006. This shows the origins of the ideas that have fed into the project on reality tv and these two books. In the interview she links the reality tv work into her earlier book on respectability. Asked about the importance of respectability she says this:
It’s so powerful! Writing Formations, which seems like a long while ago now, I see it everywhere, all these reality TV programmes are about trying to produce some sort of respectability, fitting into the family, The Apprentice, fitting into work, becoming the best capitalist in the world; they’re all about becoming respectable in various ways.