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"Me TV": Globalization, Narcissism, and Reality Television
Unformatted Document Text:  “Me TV” 16 just as the post-Fordist regime of flexible accumulation was emerging. This post-Fordist regime has now more fully evolved, spurred on by technological advances leading to a very recent palpable surge in the values of consumerism. Klein (2000) argues that globalization has transformed “culture into little more than a collection of brand-extensions-in-waiting” (p. 30). She contends that as government spending wanes, schools, museums, and broadcasters must supplement their dwindling budgets with the sponsorship of private corporations. These institutions and the events they produce subsequently become “branded,” pushing the hosting culture into the background and making the brand the center of attention. The effect is “not to sponsor culture but to be the culture” (Klein, 2000, p. 30). With the rise of consumerism, sources of identity have shifted historically from the internalization and incorporation of social identities to the trying on of ephemeral commodities and images (Dunn, 2000). Individuals have been transformed into consumers. While social identities remain (e.g., parent, student, teacher), they are now defined in relation to consumption practices, which now influence and inform social roles and relationships. Identity formation moves from the locus of the inner self to the world of objects and images valorized by commodity culture (Dunn, 2000). The commodification of society and culture has transferred the quest for identity to the act of consumption and the ephemeral experiences of mass culture and telecommunications. Through a virtual explosion of cultural and symbolic opportunities, mass culture provides a new resource for the development of personal identity (Dunn, 2000). One very viable cultural and symbolic opportunity for this sort of identity creation may currently be found in reality television, which allows consumers to try on and discard consumer

Authors: Brundidge, Jennifer.
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“Me TV” 16
just as the post-Fordist regime of flexible accumulation was emerging. This post-Fordist regime
has now more fully evolved, spurred on by technological advances leading to a very recent
palpable surge in the values of consumerism.
Klein (2000) argues that globalization has transformed “culture into little more than a
collection of brand-extensions-in-waiting” (p. 30). She contends that as government spending
wanes, schools, museums, and broadcasters must supplement their dwindling budgets with the
sponsorship of private corporations. These institutions and the events they produce subsequently
become “branded,” pushing the hosting culture into the background and making the brand the
center of attention. The effect is “not to sponsor culture but to be the culture” (Klein, 2000, p.
30).
With the rise of consumerism, sources of identity have shifted historically from the
internalization and incorporation of social identities to the trying on of ephemeral commodities
and images (Dunn, 2000). Individuals have been transformed into consumers. While social
identities remain (e.g., parent, student, teacher), they are now defined in relation to consumption
practices, which now influence and inform social roles and relationships. Identity formation
moves from the locus of the inner self to the world of objects and images valorized by
commodity culture (Dunn, 2000). The commodification of society and culture has transferred the
quest for identity to the act of consumption and the ephemeral experiences of mass culture and
telecommunications. Through a virtual explosion of cultural and symbolic opportunities, mass
culture provides a new resource for the development of personal identity (Dunn, 2000).
One very viable cultural and symbolic opportunity for this sort of identity creation may
currently be found in reality television, which allows consumers to try on and discard consumer


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