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Making Media WorkCultures of Management in the Entertainment Industries$
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Derek Johnson, Derek Kompare, and Avi Santo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814764695

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814764695.001.0001

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Enterprising Selves

Enterprising Selves

Reality Television and Human Capital

(p.90) 4 Enterprising Selves
Making Media Work

Laurie Ouellette

NYU Press

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.

Keywords:   reality television, self-branding, self-management, self-governance, personal choice, neoliberalism

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