Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Africa on U.S. Reality Television

I've been bothered for a long time by the power inequalities of teams participating in "The Amazing Race" in relation to "native" people living in these "exotic" locations. So I was thrilled to find an article by Leslie Steeves on this topic:

Commodifying Africa on U.S. Network Reality Television, Communication, Culture & Critique, 1(2008) 416-446.

From the abstract:

"I argue that Africa's representation on reality television reveals old narrative patterns as well as new ways of commodifying the continent. The programs also reinforce Western political economic dominance at a time of greatly increased tourism to developing countries alongside global product advertising aligned with the trendy lifestyle values of adventure travel."

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