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Transforming neighbourhood mediators driven by poverty on Turkish reality television

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In Turkey, there are different audience groups meeting at the crossroads of the popular entertainment format of reality television; first, those who are familiar with the fictional world of the media; second, those who make fun of passing traditions in social media; and third, those who still live a more traditional life in their neighbourhoods. Focusing on the third audience group, this article will trace the transformation of neighbourhoods from pre- to postmodern. Mainstream media entertainment becomes popular with the support of pseudo ‘neighbourhood mediators’ in talk shows, game shows, and reality TV that rely on audience participation. Istanbul TV studios working within the global format of reality TV in their Turkish versions (with codings of kinship and hometown neighbourhoods for those who have immigrated to Istanbul) will be analyzed here as part of a broader research. In this article, audience research is conducted in the context of whether any versions of reality TV induce audience participation at least in appearances, turns media into a ‘melting pot spectacle’ for real people with real problems. The research shows that the connection between taking comfort in the old-style neighbouring of pre-modern times, and the expectations within the rationale of the modern human right to a better living, alongside the deficiency of liberal economic rights, all meet paradoxically in postmodern studio systems.
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Keywords: mediated society; neighbourhood; reality TV; studio participation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Marmara University

Publication date: 2012-05-09

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