Research Keywords

真人秀 Reality show

譚佳 Tan Jia


Reality television or online shows are increasingly popular in Asia. Rather than dismissing them as trashy entertainment, we can think about how these shows can tell us more about larger social and cultural issues. For example, the sub-genre of makeover shows features how real individuals are transformed into a variety of “better” forms of oneself. In analyzing these shows, we can examine what aspects of self-improvement are deemed necessary, and how are the improvements encouraged, measured, and evaluated. We can also explore how these reality shows maneuver individual empowerment or failure on screen and structural socioeconomic inequalities off screen. Ultimately, studying these reality shows through the lens of cultural studies can further our understanding of subject formation in contemporary Asia.