Reality Television and Human Capital
This chapter explains that in an era of neoliberalism—the liberalization of market constraints and the reduction of government social services in favor of private enterprise—citizens are increasingly asked to invest in discourses of self-branding and self-management as means of attaining success. It views the emergence of reality television programs as part of the process of normalizing the ethos of self-governance by demonstrating how success and failure are matters of personal choice, creativity in the face of adversity, and the ability to “sell” one's brand to clients. By demonstrating how discourses of self-management are articulated across various subgenres focused on gendered, racialized, and classed subjects, the chapter reformulates how such discourses permeate almost every aspect of professional and private lives.
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