Author Archives: Pat Higo

Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture

Reality TV: remaking television culture

reality_tvBy Susan Murray and Laurie Ouellette

The Apprentice. Project Runway. The Bachelor. My Life on the D-list. Extreme Makeover. American Idol. It is virtually impossible to turn on a television without coming across some sort of reality programming. Yet, while this genre has rapidly moved from the fringes of television culture to its lucrative core, critical attention has not kept pace.

Beginning by unearthing its historical roots in early reality shows like Candid Camera and wending its way through An American Family and The Real World to the most recent crop of reality programs, Reality TV, now updated with eight new essays, is one of the first books to address the economic, visual, cultural, audience, and new media dimensions of reality television and has become the standard in the field. The essays provide a complex and comprehensive picture of how and why this genre emerged, what it means, how it differs from earlier television programming, and how it engages societies, industries, and individuals. Topics range from the blending of fact and fiction, to the uses of viewer labor and “interactivity,” to issues of surveillance, gender performativity, hyper-commercialism, and generic parody.

By spanning reality television’s origins in the late 1940s to its current overwhelming popularity, Reality TV demonstrates both the tenacity of the format and its enduring ability to speak to our changing political and social desires and anxieties.


Seeing through the eyes of Jesus : his revolutionary view of reality and his transcendent significance for faith

Seeing through the eyes of Jesus: his revolutionary view of reality and his transcendent significance for faith

By John Baggett

seeing_though_the _eyes_of _jesusThis book is intended for both the religiously committed and the religiously curious. It is an invitation to thoughtful readers from diverse backgrounds to view the realities of their lives through a unique and transforming set of eyes. It is an opportunity to see the particular relationships that constitute the experience of one’s own personal reality today from the standpoint of a remarkable spiritual revolutionary who lived two millennia ago. Consequently, this book is about Jesus, the historical human being, and, at the same time, about the contemporary quest for spiritual consciousness.


Detroit : ragtime and the jazz age

Detroit: ragtime and the jazz age

By Jon Milan

detroit_ragtimeDetroit has always been at the forefront of American popular music development, and the ragtime years and jazz age are no exception. The city’s long history of diversity has served the region well, providing a fertile environment for creating and nurturing some of America’s most distinctly indigenous music. With a focus on the people and places that made Detroit a major contributor to America’s rich musical heritage, Detroit: Ragtime and the Jazz Age provides a unique photo journal of a period stretching from the Civil War to the diminishing years of the big bands in the early 1940s.


Ad women:how they impact what we need, want and buy

Ad women: how they impact what we need, want and buy

ad_womenBy Juliann Sivulka

Most of the workers in advertising, the media, retail, and fashion are women. Holding key marketing and advertising positions, women shape the basic promotional appeal of almost every consumer product in America. How did the advertising business go from a handful of women in a man’s world to women working in virtually every mass consumer goods industry in America in the space of the twentieth century? Ad Women tells the story of how women have risen to the top of the advertising profession. Juliann Sivulka, a former marketing communications manager and now an advertising educator, describes how, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the recognition of women as primary consumers resulted in the hiring of more women to promote products aimed at the women’s market. At that time manufacturers began to emphasize color, fashion, and style, while advertising embraced a new language of persuasion aimed at women consumers. Soon agencies were recruiting an ensemble of businesswomen–copywriters, product designers, merchandisers, fashion and beauty experts, home economists, editors, and publicists. Through close collaboration with manufacturers, mass media, and retailers, they participated in developing strategies to convince women to buy goods and wove their selling messages into women’s reading, shopping, housework, and leisure activities.


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