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Playing for celebrity: Big Brother as ritual event

Couldry, Nick (2002) Playing for celebrity: Big Brother as ritual event. Television and New Media, 3 (3). pp. 283-293. ISSN 1527-4764

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If we are to understand series such as the first U.K. version of Big Brother as events, rather than just as texts or production processes, we need to draw on anthropological theory, for example, Dayan and Katz's theory of media events. This article develops an anthropologically informed argument about the status of Big Brother as event, its ambiguous claims to present social “reality,” and the connection of those claims with its other claim to offer “liveness” in a new web-enhanced form. These ambiguities can be traced not only in the discourse of the program but also in the discourses by producers and others that surrounded it, ambiguities that are ideological in the same way that “myth” was for Roland Barthes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2002 SAGE Publications Ltd
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2008 09:06

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