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The Effect of Reality TV on Civic Behaviors

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Title:The Effect of Reality TV on Civic Behaviors
Authors:Elizabeth, Fanning
Author Affiliation:Fanning Elizabeth - University of Virginia
Date Issued:2011
Abstract:Viewer voting for and participation in reality TV shows such as American Idol has been frequently compared to US voting for and participation in American presidential elections. This comparison is often used to substantiate the cultural impact of shows such as American Idol and to infer commentary on American values. American Idol itself is part of the growing trend in viewer participation and collaboration in driving a storyline and outcome of TV shows and other telemedia. This trend in real-time audience participation runs parallel and most likely not coincidentally with the growth of web 2.0 tools, particularly social networking tools, in which users connect, interact, and react and respond to each other on the direction of the storyline and the fates of the participants. To note, in that the 2008 presidential election was examined and discussed both on TV and through news sites, and leveraged through social networking sites, it is worth considering if skills in online participation for a TV show transfer to a sense of self-efficacy and participation in a real election. This study takes a look at one small piece of the equation: the effect of a popular reality TV show on a viewer’s sense of efficacy and attitude towards voting in an election. This study also provides insight into specific groups of people’s levels of participation through various online tools.
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections: TCC 2011 Proceedings

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