Authenticity and How We Fake It

Belief and Subjectivity in Reality TV, Facebook and YouTube


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About the Book

Consumers today are invested in reality-based media, such as reality television and social media, which in theory draw content from somewhere off-screen in our lived experience. This is seen as more “authentic” than the predominantly fictional media of the latter half of the 20th century. Yet much of reality TV and social media is known by both consumers and creators of content to be scripted or contrived. Addressing this problem deepens consumer engagement, as authenticity becomes a preoccupation driving the extension of a new media ethic of truth and savvy. This dynamic is key to understanding consumers’ changing attitudes about the media they value. Reality TV, Facebook and YouTube have created a paradigm shift in the media landscape. Analyzing these three established platforms—all of which have a stake in the conversation about authenticity—this book sheds light on the complicated behaviors and choices of media consumers.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Aaron Duplantier’s work has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed publications, including Louisiana Folklore Miscellany, Ethos and the Quint. He lives in Covington, Louisiana.

Bibliographic Details

Aaron Duplantier
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9849-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2523-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 9
1. If Only Reality TV Were Not Real: Advertising, Ordinary People and Savvy Consumption 27
2. Ontologies of Facebook: Catfish and the Magical Thinking of Consumers 68
3. How YouTube Subjectivizes: Vlogging, Hauls and Creative Consumption 109
Conclusion: Beyond Reality TV, Facebook and YouTube 150
Chapter Notes 171
Bibliography 178
Index 183