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Does my bum look big in this edit

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  • 1. Does My Bum Look Big In This?Lifestyle TV, Social Surveillance of Classed & Gendered Bodies 1
  • 2. Lifestyle TV Television‟s two-fold system:1. Public Service Ethos2. Commerciality 2
  • 3. Lifestyle TV As Gareth Palmer points out, „television has now extended to directly fashioning people – for their own good, of course‟  (in Holmes & Jermyn, 2004: 189) 3
  • 4. Lifestyle TV Rachel Moseley suggests that „the privatization of the public sphere in recent decades has led to a shift in the ethos of public service broadcasting, with television taking on a new role in the “care of the self, the home and the garden, addressing its audience through a combination of consumer competence and do-it-yourself on a shoestring”‟.  Cited in Tasker & Negra, 2007: 228 4
  • 5. Identifying lifestyle TV:Homes/Gardens 5
  • 6. Identifying lifestyle TV:Food and Bodies 6
  • 7. Proliferation of Lifestyle TV in the 1990s Home and Gardens  The Self  Real Rooms (BBC 1997)  Style Challenge (BBC  Changing Rooms (BBC 1996) 1997- 2004)  Looking Good (BBC 1997-  Ground Force (BBC 1997- 2000) )  She‟s Gotta Have It (CH 4  Better Homes (ITV, 1999) 1998) Cookery  Delia  Ready Steady Cook (BBC 1997)  The Naked Chef (BBC 1999) 7
  • 8. Sir Jonathan Millereditor of Monitor, 1964-5; BBC, 1970 Every time I switch on the television, I see someone stooping with a spoon, then sipping from it, and then turning to someone next to them and going „Aaaah‟. The BBC is becoming a form of...wall-filling. If it‟s not broadcast cookery programmes, it‟s about decorating your house or about vets, or Men Behaving Badly. Soon there‟ll be Vets Behaving Badly.  Miller, 1999: 20 cited in Brunsdon, 2003: 6 8
  • 9. Lifestyle TVDaytimisation of evening schedules„the daytime schedules, always the domain of the housewife, the mother with children, the retired and the hobbyist‟ have shifted to the evening slots in „a day for night makeover takeover‟  Brunsdon, 2003: 7 9
  • 10. Lifestyle TV Feminization of evening schedules Displacement of „masculine‟ programming  Diminution of „serious‟ programming  Current affairs, documentary  The public sphere  The „political‟  Realism  Experts „softening up‟ = „soaping‟ and „celebrity lifestyling‟. A turn to a more consumer led approach. 10
  • 11. Brunsdon, 2003: 8 „we can hypothesize that it is not lifestyle programming alone that is producing an audience that is available to view. If the home and person have always been expressive sites, more people are spending more time and money on these pursuits than ever before, in a culture where the gap between rich and poor has continued to increase. Although the lifestyling of British television has attracted attention as being symbolic of a deterioration in that television, it is perhaps more helpful to think of it as being one element in the more general „lifestyling‟ of late 20th-century British culture.‟ 11
  • 12. Brunsdon, 2003: 8 Ambivalent  Not simply „scheduling solutions‟  TV engages with wider cultural shifts 1. Increase in home ownership 2. Female entry in to the workforce  More disposable income  Greater visibility in TV industries “Many of the lifestyle shows are made by independents many are fronted by women and many have production teams with quite high proportions of women” (2003:8) 3. Changing living and consumption practices 1. Falling birth rates/Single occupancy households 2. Privatisation of leisure (i.e DIY, cookery) = one element in the more general lifestyling of late C20th British culture (2003:8) 12
  • 13. TRANSFORMATION NARRATIVES 13
  • 14. Governmentality;The Fashion Police In a world where „it is now widely agreed and understood that “appearance is everything”‟, „people now understand television as an active agent of transformation‟.  (Palmer, 2004: 184, 189)  Michel Foucault – Governmentality  Operations of power in modern society 14
  • 15. Governmentality;The Fashion Police The process of what Nikolas Rose describes as “„governing the soul‟ or the production, shaping and management of subjects useful for the purposes of the state and its associated insituitions‟”.  Cited in Tasker and Negra, 2007: 230 15
  • 16. Governmentality;The Fashion Police According to Martin Roberts, „governmentality has been driven as much by economic interests of capital as the political requirements of the state ... In the contemporary world ... governmentality is driven primarily by the agendas and interests of neoliberal capitalism ... Governmentality in postmodern societies is driven primarily by the interests of the market rather than the state as such‟.  Cited in Tasker and Negra, 2007: 231 16
  • 17. What Not to Wear http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSwijjO8Zkc 17
  • 18. What Not to Wear “Your best friends won‟t tell you what not to wear, but we‟re not your friends. And we will.” 18
  • 19. What Not to Wear „What Not to Wear is a „paradigmatic example of the operations of governmentality in lifestyle television and the role of postfeminist ideology in that process‟. One of the central tenets of postfeminism is „that sexual attractiveness is a source of power over patriarchy rather than subjection to it‟.  Roberts in Tasker & Negra, 2007: 233-4 19
  • 20. Frankenstein‟s a nice guy? 20
  • 21. Frankenstein‟s a nice guy? 21
  • 22. The 360 Degree Mirror 22
  • 23. What Not to Wear – The Book Listing ten problem areas:  Big boobs/ no boobs/ big arms/ big butt/ no waist/ short legs/ flabby tummy/ saddlebags/ bingo wings/ short neck/ thick ankles and carves/ camel‟s toe. Golden Rules for Big Arms:  Fat arms must always wear sleeves  Capped sleeves are an absolute no – they strangle big arms  Small prints cover a multitude a flabby flesh. 23
  • 24. EXTREME MAKEOVER 24
  • 25. Nikolas Rose (1990: 10 -11) Through self-reformation, therapy, techniques of body alteration, and the calculated reshaping of speech and emotion, we adjust ourselves by means of the techniques propounded by the experts of the soul. The government of the soul depends upon our recognition of ourselves as ideally and potentially certain sorts of person, the unease generated by a normative judgement of what we are and what we could become, and the incitement offered to overcome this discrepancy by following the advice of experts in the management of the self. The irony is that we believe, in making our subjectivity the principle of our personal lives, our ethical systems, and our political evaluations, that we are, freely, choosing our freedom. 25
  • 26. Nikolas Rose (1990: 10 -11) Through self-reformation, therapy, techniques of body alteration, and the calculated reshaping of speech and emotion, we adjust ourselves by means of the techniques propounded by the experts of the soul. The government of the soul depends upon our recognition of ourselves as ideally and potentially certain sorts of person, the unease generated by a normative judgement of what we are and what we could become, and the incitement offered to overcome this discrepancy by following the advice of experts in the management of the self. The irony is that we believe, in making our subjectivity the principle of our personal lives, our ethical systems, and our political evaluations, that we are, freely, choosing our freedom. 26
  • 27. Nikolas Rose (1990: 10 -11) Through self-reformation, therapy, techniques of body alteration, and the calculated reshaping of speech and emotion, we adjust ourselves by means of the techniques propounded by the experts of the soul. The government of the soul depends upon our recognition of ourselves as ideally and potentially certain sorts of person, the unease generated by a normative judgement of what we are and what we could become, and the incitement offered to overcome this discrepancy by following the advice of experts in the management of the self. The irony is that we believe, in making our subjectivity the principle of our personal lives, our ethical systems, and our political evaluations, that we are, freely, choosing our freedom. 27
  • 28. JeremyBentham, 1791 28
  • 29. Governmentality „Television seems to teach us, our only option is to listen humbly as our design skills, sense of style, or musical talents are scrutinized and dissected, our homes remodelled, our identities reformatted, and our intimate histories laid bare...‟ 29
  • 30. Governmentality Governmentality depends upon our consent, and whilst these factors are powerful forces, „the option always remains to throw off the selves that lifestyle television creates for us, to be who we want to be, to think for ourselves‟. 30
  • 31. Lifestyle television as panoptican? 31
  • 32. Further Reading Foucault, Michel (1991) „Governmentality‟, in The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, Burchell, Gordon, Peter Miller (eds.). New York: Pantheon. McRobbie, A (2004): „Notes on „What Not To Wear‟ and Post- feminist Symbolic Violence‟, The Sociological Review, 52(2): 97-109. Palmer, G (2008) Exposing Lifestyle Television: The Big Reveal. Aldershot: Ashgate. Roberts, Martin (2007) „The Fashion Police: Governing the Self in What Not to Wear‟, in Tasker, Yvonne & Negra, Diane (eds.) Interrogating Postfeminism. London: Duke University Press. Rose, Nikolas (1990) Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self. London: Routledge. 32

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