Tribal Warfare: Survivor and the Political Unconscious of Reality Television

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Lexington Books, 2006 - Social Science - 196 pages
Tribal Warfare thoroughly investigates a central element of the hit reality television show Survivor that the existing literature on reality television has overlooked: class politics. Christopher J. Wright combines textual analysis and survey research to demonstrate that Survivor operates and resonates as a political allegory. Using the work of Fredric Jameson, this book reveals how Survivor frames its 'characters' as 'haves' and 'have-nots.' For those new to Jameson, Wright breaks down the theorist's complex notion of the political unconscious into easily understandable language. Furthermore, using the results of a survey of Survivor viewers, Tribal Warfare demonstrates that viewers divide along gender, racial, age, and--most significantly--class-related lines in their consumption of, and reaction to, the program. The first book to explore the premise of 'Survivor as society, ' this unique work serves as both an engaging analysis of a popular television program and a highly readable primer for those new to critical theory.

From inside the book


Interrogating the Obvious Survivor
The Political Unconscious
Repression Among Contestants

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About the author (2006)

Christopher J. Wright began writing about political and cultural implications of Survivor in 2001 for He works in the political media in Washington, D.C.

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