"Wow, that bitch is crazy!": exploring gendered performances in leisure spaces surrounding reality television

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Health
Department Parks Recreation & Tourism
Author Spencer, Callie Cross
Title "Wow, that bitch is crazy!": exploring gendered performances in leisure spaces surrounding reality television
Date 2014-12
Description In Reality Bites Back, Jennifer L. Pozner states, "Women are bitches. Women are stupid. Women are incompetent at work and failures at home. Women are gold diggers. How do we know? Because reality TV tells us so." Not only does reality TV shape what we think about the "way things are," it also shapes how we think about and perform our own subjectivities, "who we are" as gendered, sexed, raced, classed humans. If the messages sent by reality TV are that women are incompetent, stupid, gold-digging bitches, what are women doing with those messages? Are we incorporating such messages, and writing them on our bodies? Repurposing them? Reproducing them? Actively and strongly resisting them? In other words, what is the work (on subjectivity production) of watching reality TV (watching other women being watched)? The purpose of this dissertation was to take up that question by exploring the performative experiences of three women watching the 17th season of ABC's The Bachelor. Using duoethnography, we explored how we challenged, (re)produced, assigned, and constructed gendered subjectivities both for ourselves and for each other through our performances within leisure spaces surrounding The Bachelor. In three layers of data-generative surveillance, we 1) videotaped ourselves watching the show; 2) publicly reflected about our experiences of watching the show in a blog (www.blogaboutthebachelor.com); and, 3) spent a weekend together watching the videotape of ourselves watching the show (a hyper-reflexive experience). Within the blog, we provided a space for women to react to, critique, support, or decenter messages sent by the show and one another. As such, the blog enacted a political project in order to decenter norms of practice offering more possibilities for gendered performance. In addition to this public political project, the results of our study as presented in five articles within this dissertation provide a methodological contribution to the body of knowledge by exploring what it means to do "empowering" "collaborative" feminist research. The ways in which we performed gendered subjectivities in reaction to messages sent by The Bachelor were inextricably entangled with the ways in which we performed gendered subjectivities as collaborative researchers.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Cultural studies; Duoethnography; Gender; Performance studies; Poststructuralism; The Bachelor
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Callie Cross Spencer 2014
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 2,672,260 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/3308
ARK ark:/87278/s69k7kfp
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2015-02-11
Date Modified 2018-03-26
ID 196873
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s69k7kfp