While Reality TV lays claim to the real by featuring the ordinary and everyday, it performs reality as a spectacle and thereby dislocates it by obscuring the distance between reality and representation. That dislocation is especially critical in the way Reality TV exposes and engages suffering and loss through its preoccupation with narratives of personal trauma for the sake of entertainment, employing idealized modes of confession, absolution, and redemption drawn largely from the discourse and conventions of the “recovery” movement. While Reality TV opens up new possibilities for witness to trauma at a cultural level, the commodification, sensationalization, and sentimentalization of trauma in Reality TV inevitably thwart the kind of empathy, solidarity, and “remaining” with trauma that is required by a healing witness to it.
- Traumatic Memory
- Talk Show
- Happy Ending
- Trauma Study
- Personal Trauma
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Stone, B. (2016). Trauma, Reality, and Eucharist. In: Arel, S., Rambo, S. (eds) Post-Traumatic Public Theology. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40660-2_3
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