Find the article ‘Reality TV: the Big Brother phenomenon’ by Colin Sparks in International Socialism, April 2007 at www.isj.org.uk
Read the introduction and the sections entitled ‘Really real?’; ‘Critical responses’ and ‘In conclusion’.
Now answer the following questions:
- What types of programme are included under the heading ‘reality TV’?
- “The participants in the non-celebrity show are presented to us as a cross-section of ‘ordinary’ people reflecting contemporary British society.” Is this true?
- Identify six ways in which ‘Big Brother’ is not real.
- How is ‘Big Brother’ different to other reality TV programmes?
- What are the two possible reactions identified to alienation at work?
- Why does the Marxist author suggest that becoming a celebrity is so attractive to workers?
- Why does the author conclude that “Big Brother offers no challenge at all to capitalism”?