Negotiating Belonging as Cultural Proximity in the Process of Adapting Global Reality TV Formats

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

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Negotiating Belonging as Cultural Proximity in the Process of Adapting Global Reality TV Formats


  • Laura Suna Institute for Media and Communication Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany


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Abstract:  This article focuses on aspects of belonging the producers of reality TV programmes address in the staging of emotions. Based on interview statements by 12 experts from the field of national and international reality TV format production, we argue as follows: on the one hand, producers in reality TV shows address belonging as a perceived cultural proximity to trans-local meta-narratives of a longing for change, romantic love, competition and victory. The producers associate these trans-local meta-narratives with allegedly universal emotions. On the other hand, the producers address belonging as a perceived cultural proximity to local cultural discourses on beauty ideals and combine these with a specific local cultural performance of emotions. The results show that an emotional repertoire is developed and negotiated in the adaptation process of trans-local formats. It refers to universalistic understanding of emotional display and negotiates specific “feeling rules” accordingly.

Keywords:  belonging; cultural proximity; emotion repertoires; emotions; feeling rules; format adaptation; reality TV

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v6i3.1502


© Laura Suna. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.