Ouellette & Hay, "Makeover Television"


Please post your discussion questions on Ouellette & Hay's article, "Makeover Television," below, using the following as a guide:

1. What does reality TV have to do with contemporary citizenship, according to Ouellette and Hay?
2. What do Ouellette and Hay mean by "neoliberal reasoning"? What are its characteristics? How, according to Ouellette and Hay has government been "reinvented" in neoliberal terms?
3. What do Ouellette and Hay mean when they argue that television can be viewed as a "governmental technology" (473)? How does it "train" individuals to be particular kinds of citizens? What is the contemporary viewer supposed to do, according to these logics?
4. What do they mean by "post-welfare citizenship" (473)?
5. How is the "life intervention" show a particularly good example of the argument that Ouellette and Hay are advancing (see 476)?
6. And how does media convergence and interactivity participate in the workings of reality TV as a technology of governance?
7. What do Ouellette and Hay mean when they write that reality television (and ABC in particular) plays a role in "enacting an alternative to the state of welfare"?
8. Why are these developments troubling to Ouellette and Hay? What are some of the negative consequences that they reflect on in the conclusion?


This article did a good job in depicting what it means to be a 'good citizen' by participating in ways to 'better oneself' by the rules governing the makeover television programs on multiple channels. How does including celebrities on makeover programs increase the probability that the typical citizen will participate in a healthier lifestyle? How effective are these television programs in promoting a healthy lifestyle as well as a 'good citizen'?

Ouellette and Hays list a number of lifestyle intervention TV programs that help in all areas do peoples lives from health to finance, what are some of the implications that come with these self help programs? Who does it exclude from this privatized welfare?

This article was overall very interesting, but I would like to go into depth in class on question #7: What do Ouellette and Hay mean when they write that reality television (and ABC in particular) plays a role in "enacting an alternative to the state of welfare"? I am having trouble with this question.

Reality TV can exist as governmental technology because it can cause the viewer to police themselves, and be a model of the "good citizen." Ouellette and Hay mention the Get Fit Campaign and how such social programs are replaced in many ways by make-over TV programs. I have not seen any of the reality shows mentioned, but I could see how the privatization of governance could be seen in reality TV.

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This page contains a single entry by zimme313 published on April 22, 2013 10:30 AM.

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