Resurgent Heteronormativity in Reality Pop

  • Michael Lovelock


This chapter argues that, unlike the rest of reality TV, reality pop formats like American Idol and The X Factor have produced a resurgent heteronormativity within mainstream culture. Lovelock explores how the generic conventions of reality pop—its connections to the popular music industry and engagement with ideas about talent, celebrity and authenticity—have re-centred the heterosexual nuclear family as the model TV audience. In this context, queer people are represented as figures of comedy and/or ridicule. At the same time, Lovelock maintains that this resurgent heteronormativity has created a complex interplay between reality shows and their discussion in other media, where external media have represented a greater range of queer identities through their claims to more authentic representations than the TV texts themselves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Lovelock
    • 1
  1. 1.Ho Chi Minh CityVietnam

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