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Black Women in Reality Television Docusoaps

A New Form of Representation or Depictions as Usual?


Adria Y. Goldman and Damion Waymer

Black Women in Reality Television Docusoaps explores representations of Black women in one of the most powerful, popular forms of reality television – the docusoap. Viewers, critics, and researchers have taken issue with what they consider to be unflattering, one-dimensional representations. This book discusses images of Black women in reality television during the 2011 viewing year, when much criticism arose. These findings provide a context for a more recent examination of reality television portrayals during 2014, following many reality stars’ promises to offer new representations. The authors discuss the types of images shown, potential readings of such portrayals, and the implication of these reality television docusoap presentations. The book will be useful for courses examining topics such as popular culture; mass media and society; women’s studies; race and media; sex and gender; media studies; African American issues in mass communication; and gender, race and representation, as well as other graduate-level classes.
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About the author


Adria Y. Goldman, Ph.D. (Howard University), is Assistant Professor of Communication at Gordon State College. Her recent publications include the coauthored journal article “Identifying Ugliness, Defining Beauty: A Focus Group Analysis of and Reaction to Ugly Betty.” She is also one of the editors of Black Women and Popular Culture: The Conversation Continues. Damion Waymer, Ph.D. (Purdue University), is Associate Provost for Special Initiatives at the University of Cincinnati. He is the 2013 recipient of the PRIDE Award from the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association for his contributions to public relations education, and he has published more than forty journal articles and scholarly book chapters on communication and issues of diversity and public relations.

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