The folks at Power Line turned up a doozy.
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)?I am not making this stuff up. "In other words, three women taped themselves watching TV, then talked about it afterward, and turned it into a Ph.D! Time to amend Socrates: the self-referential life is not worth living."
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.
And here I spent the better part of a year gathering information on the location, inputs, outputs, and shipments of fully-integrated steel plants and expanded that information over the years. But it's unlikely that the resulting research would come in for mocking on Real Peer Review. And if it did, perhaps that would get me a few more readers. The reaction of the culture-studies sillies is different.
The folks at Reel Peer Review take a lot of heat for giving wider exposure to the tendentiousness of so much academic output these days. But wouldn’t you think academics would want their work known by a larger public audience? The fact that they get angry when people read their abstracts (the underlying journal articles are usually even more unreadable) tells you something.Yes, you strip the technical jargon out of a lot of academic work and the findings seem straightforward, common-sensical, sometimes even trivial. But the value of the work is in confirming the straightforward, and if you come up with some surprises that are not so straightforward, then you have a solid reputation. Why can't the culture-studies sillies offer even that explanation?