Jenkins, Andrejevic, Olluette, Hay Week 13

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Ouellette and Hay's essay was useful in better understanding how a neoliberal media system is shaping citizenship, and impacts the welfare of US citizens. They argue that "under neoliberalism, civic well-being is increasingly both commodified, and tied to entrepreneurial imperatives..." I think that the Biggest Losers show that we watched exemplifies this argument well. In the show the producers transfer monetary value to weight loss by drawing in viewers to watch the contestants work toward weight loss. There are of course undertones of hyper-commercialism, when they give away gym memberships, which also operates within the context of neoliberalism.

It is interesting to me how a show like this exists in our society, which simultaneously struggles with obesity, shames the overweight, and idealizes thin, beautiful people. I recognize that reality television survives on perverted manipulations of "real life," but Biggest Losers goes far to categorize the overweight as a problem that has implications on greater society beyond personal betterment, while relying on the condition for production. This is not unlike other closed-circuits of the market place, but in this case, social and personal health are used as resources in all levels of production.

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Very clear examples of neoliberalism! You've clearly done your homework. You make a great point when you say, "we categorize obesity as a problems that has implications on greater society beyond personal betterment."I think that the producers of the shows' hearts were in the right place when creating it because it is offering very obese people a chance to get thin and be trained by some of the best personal trainers out there, but then again what is given to these people to help them stay healthy and fit after they leave the show? Instead of having a work out the only thing you have to do for the day now they are back at in their homes, working full-time jobs, and caring for their children. I think that the show needs to focus more on what they are going to do to help keep these obese people fit and motivated even after they are off the show.

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This page contains a single entry by John published on April 26, 2013 8:45 AM.

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