Free «Reality Television and its Impact on Society» Essay Sample

Reality TV has detrimental and harmful effects on society distorting human identity and personal dignity. Watching Reality TV, everyone is shadowed by negative identities that threaten and confuse daily life, but the key is to have the means of coping with, or even mastering, the urge to give in to the negative typing of oneself or others. The best countersuits lie in demonstrating competence, working out sensible ways of becoming integral in a community, and carrying through on a commitment to mutuality. Thesis Reality TV creates negative social identities, distorts images of gender and race and popularizes violence and aggressiveness on behavior patterns.

In the absence of tolerance, Reality TV falls prey to demagogy and the coercion of the minority by the majority. Political formations have a considerable impact on identity, but they do not constitute identity, except in extreme cases. The state can limit or prevent the pathologies of discrimination, exploitation, and domination by means of coercion, example, or the indirect effect of policies that remove the conditions for the emergence of these pathologies (Breyer 100). Similarly, the state can play a constructive role in providing developmentally critical choices to individuals who do not have essential options available. Policies in areas of child care, education, health, and economic opportunity play a crucial role in enriching the environments within which identity is formed (Hill 37). "The underlying themes are themes of humiliation and degradation. And it's part of a general trend in our culture towards making the private public" (Breyer 100)

The negative social aspect of pseudo speciation lies precisely in the necessity of using force to displace competency, integrity, and mutuality as a basis for human relations. The differences of the sexes become a readily available device of pseudo speciation and the attribution of superiority (“Is Reality TV Putting …” n.d.). Gender differentiation becomes sexism when it serves the false, or pseudo, developmental purpose of ignoring competence, violating the integrity of human development, and undermining the basis for mutually committed relationships, whether by men against women or the other way around. Denigration as a form of domination reinforces inter-group aggression (Sicha 53).

The specific form that portrayal used in Reality TV leads to negative identities. The dominant culture creates negative identities for minorities widely cited by popular heroes in Reality TV.  What is, in their culture, a highly developed system for bringing young people into a mature and self-sufficient adulthood was undermined by education schemes that caused the very kinds of negative behavior that became the basis for stereotyping Native Americans.  Even the best-intentioned initiatives can go awry without a consideration of the dynamics of identity formation. What makes these identity materials negative is that they are proffered by the dominant cultural group with a patronizing, even condemnatory attitude. The transaction serves to prop up the chauvinism of the master group. Sadly, its victims occasionally yield to the force of convention and accept the roles proffered so as to survive in a hostile environment (Hill 83-84).

Reality TV popularizes violence, indifference and immoral behavior patterns followed by the heroes.  Choices are manifestations of a developmental force arising from internal drives and reflections, on one side, and the possibilities that society presents, on the other. While no analysis cannot account for every variation, viewers can see the underlying pattern of issues on the individual side. Adult criminal behavior, for example, is highly correlated with the experience of an abusive childhood. On the social side, viewers can identify patterns of response that lead, in often predictable directions, toward certain kinds of results. As an illustration, constitutional democracies have a better track record than dictatorships in protecting individual rights (Sicha 53). Reality TV is about dealing with inevitable conflicts and differences. For the mass media, Reality TV is a strategy for locating the shared characteristics of human nature and social norms. Reality TV means are ways of finding agreement on underlying commonalities. It is the radicalism of the race, gender, class version of identity politics that is problematic; it is the one-sidedness of the concept of identity that underlies this negative and detrimental formulation (Hill 119).

What is needed in reality TV is a method for avoiding the extremes in social messages. The perversion of group relatedness into aggressive self-images, as the research on authoritarian and stereotypical thinking illustrates, is seemingly at least as easy as the selective reinforcement of those aspects of group identity that are productive. The success of one's identity generates feelings of self-mastery and ego gratification. It is during such a moratorium that much of the synthesizing of past experience and future possibility occurs, along with the testing of negative and positive identities, and the reconciliation with pressures for choices of career and commitments to relations of mutuality. Although all these issues may not be settled at such an age, the developmental strengths acquired in the struggle play an essential role in the lifelong definition of identity. The issue of negative pictures of social reality may be dealt with in other ways--and there are political risks involved. For many, and perhaps for most, aggressiveness or violence is conferred rather than achieved. One's caretakers, perhaps in league with social pressures, present a finished identity to the young person. In the most definite mode, the process of identity formation is foreclosed either by circumstances or by the individual's own acceptance of what is offered. There is a sense of identity as a result, but it is not seated in the individual's own psychological maturation. The resulting identity diffusion becomes a troubling impediment as the individual confronts the subsequent challenge of intimacy vs. isolation and the remaining elements of the life cycle.


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