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A study of the reality game show concept “Survivor”: how national identities are represented in a transnational reality format
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Since TV became the most influential medium globally, the media content followed and as a result, a variety of programmes became international. When it came to entertainment, reality game show Survivor became a pioneer in crossing national borders when the programme’s format was licensed and sold worldwide. The ability of a single reality TV show format to appeal to different nations is remarkable and noteworthy, which consequently makes it an interesting field of research. Therefore, this essay focuses on analysing the narrative structures of the Survivor format productions in Sweden, the USA and Russia in pursuance of revealing representations and reproductions of the nations. It answers the questions about the narrative structures of the programmes, as well as about their common construction, and describes how the national identities are portrayed in a transnational reality game show format. In order to make the study extensive but at the same time significant, a structural narrative analysis with a comparative approach was chosen as a method. The selection was based on the importance of analysing the content of narratives in order to comprehend their illustrations of reality and, among other things, national identities. Mainly referring to a theory of nations as “imagined communities” and a theory about “banal nationalism”, the essay presents an analysis of the narrative structures. These structures, in their turn, expose the nation-specific elements that represent and reproduce the idea of nation. It is argued that national expressions are in general based on traditions and rituals of the nations. These representations are frequently unnoticed in everyday life; however they become noteworthy in the context of reality TV game shows such as Survivor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 56 p.
Keyword [en]
Survivor, reality TV show, reality game show, national identities, format, TV, Sweden, USA, Russia, narrative analysis, nation, globalization
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-21726OAI: diva2:692094
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2014-01-30 Created: 2014-01-29 Last updated: 2014-01-30Bibliographically approved

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