AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Real Fit: Identity, Society, and Viewer Investment in Fitness Reality TV

by Juliana Wolf Lewis

Institution: Vanderbilt University
Department: Philosophy
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Keywords: Viewer investment; philosophy; philosophy of film; society and television; affect studies; media studies; The Biggest Loser
Record ID: 2062606
Full text PDF: http://etd.library.vanderbilt.edu/available/etd-03162015-191826/


Real Fit: Identity, Society, and Viewer Investment in Reality TV is first and foremost a philosophical experiment in how to articulate the space between viewer and screen. Its driven by a methodological investment in bringing theories of normativity into an experiential terrain typically dominated by media studies. What does it mean to study an audience? And how does this knowledge speak to, or challenge our existing models? Its an investigation into the political dimension of seemingly innocuous entertainment, and a deep consideration of how this comes to bear on invested viewers. Staying within the confines of the virtual, my dissertation studies the ways that TV exploits affect to reinforce current personalized narratives of obesity as a problem that can be managed by self-discipline.